"The policies of [Eduard] Shevardnadze [Georgia's previous president] have allowed a local feudal of Adzharia to knock up an army of his own-a militia which is not obeying Georgia's central authorities," Mr. Saakashvili said to a news briefing in Poti, in Georgia's west.
The Georgian top will not tolerate an armed force insubordinate to it, he forcefully added.
A presidential motorcade was not admitted to the republic this morning, he announced earlier on the day.
President Saakashvili is doing all he can to avoid confrontation. "I have heard advice to act tough, but we are ignoring such advice-for the time being," he said in a statement all Georgian-based television channels were casting.
"The Adzhar top is to say, once and for all, whether Adzharia is part of Georgia or not. If they acknowledge it is, they will also say it out loud whether Georgian laws, presidential authority, central jurisdiction and all norms accepted in Georgia are valid in Adzharia.
"I am calling the Adzhar population not to obey provocative orders, and not to take up arms against their own country. Do not re-enact past errors, I appeal to Georgia's entire nation." President Saakashvili is convening an emergency government session in Poti tonight, he said.
Accompanying him are the Georgian Prime Minister, the Interior and State Security Ministers, the Prosecutor General, the Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, and other top national officers.
President Saakashvili reappeared at a Choloki riverside checkpoint on the Adzhar administrative border about half past three, local time, this afternoon, reports the Rustavi 2 television. Several hundred people living in the vicinity gathered on the site to greet him and call Aslan Abashidze to step down.