The Hunters (Georgia)

Country: Georgia
Details of Formation: The Hunters were formed by Emzar Kvitsiani after the secessionist war began in Abkhazia in 1992. The Hunters were able to maintain control over the upper Kodori valley after the retreat of the Georgian forces from Abkhazia in 1993. Kvitisani then maintained nominal dependence on the Georgian central government.
Details of Termination: President Sakaashvili removed Kvitsiani from his official government position in December 2004 and later disbanded the Hunters in April 2005. Kvitsiani defied the termination of the Hunters and declared disobedience to the central government in 2006, which led to armed clashes between the Hunters and government troops. In the aftermath, Kvitsiani had to flee the country; when he returned in 2014 he was arrested for forming an illegal armed group.
Purpose: The main purpose of the Hunters was to maintain control over the Kodori Gorge when regular Georgian forces retreated from Abkhazia. They were able to fulfill this purpose, and the Kodori Gorge remained part of Georgia during the existence of the Hunters (Wikipedia).
Organisation: The Hunters were led by Emzar Kvitsiani who had also formed the group. They pledged nominal allegiance to the central government. President Shevardnadze appointed Kvitsiani special state envoy to Kodori valley. In 1998 the Hunters became a special battalion of the Georgian Armed Forces, but the government had little control over it. Until 2005, the Hunters were financed by Georgian state budget and members received a salary from the state.
Weapons and Training: In 2004 it was decided that the Defense Ministry will provide the Hunters with equipment, arms and ammunition.
Size: In 2001, the group had around 800 armed men, and in 2003 this number had increased to up to 900. In 2004, the group was restored into action with 400 members. When the Hunters were a rebel group in 2006, they numbered over 500 people.
Reason for Membership: The Hunters consist mainly of local residents who want to defend themselves and their region.
Treatment of Civilians: The Hunters aim at protecting local Kodori gorge residents from Abkhazian attacks. They also helped in the search for four abducted UN-personnel and treated Abkhaz prisoners well. At the end of the civil war in Abkhazia, the Hunters demanded money and possessions from fleeing civilians (Wikipedia).
Other Information: The Hunters are also known as Monadire Battalion.
References: Wikipedia. “Emzar Kvitsiani“.