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Following the April 9, 1991, independence from the former Soviet Union, Georgia was beset by ethnic and civil strife. The continuing argument over the political status of Abkhazia resulted in war. In September 1993, Georgian forces withdrew from the Abkhazia region. Although Georgia stabilized, South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain elusive. The conflict in South Ossetia has been dormant since spring 1994, but sporadic violence continues between Abkhaz forces and Georgian partisans in western Georgia. Of their estimated population of 5,000,000, Georgia still has about 250,000 internally displaced people as a result of these conflicts. After adopting a new constitution in October 1995, Georgia has focused on economic reform and governmental stability.



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