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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

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635 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 635 First   Previous   Next   Last

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Kazakh air force 10 July conducted large-scale military exercises along Kazakh-Chinese border. 4 sentenced 22 July to 6-12 years prison for recruiting fighters for Syria’s rebel army. Same sentence for similar charges pronounced 21 July in Shymkent against a group of four.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Water and energy tensions with neighbours continued: Tajikistan 10 July launched mortar attack against Kyrgyzstan following tensions over water in Vorukh enclave (Tajik territory surrounded by Kyrgyzstan’s Batken province); Kyrgyz and Tajik vice PMs met 11 July to discuss conflict, agreed on joint commission to investigate events. Kyrgyz and Tajik govts 28 July agreed to joint patrolling of common border to avoid more clashes. Kazakh PM Masimov visited Bishkek 12 July, discussed possible reduction of scheduled water released from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan following 70% shortfall in water for irrigation in Chui province, northern Kyrgyzstan. Interior Minister Suranchiyev 3 July warned religions extremism on rise, at least 80 Kyrgyz citizens fighting alongside rebels in Syria. Ousted President Bakiev sentenced in abstentia 25 July to life in prison for 2010 killing of protesters.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Alexander Sodikov, Tajik national resident in Canada, arrested 16 June on spying accusations, released 22 July, asked to remain in Dushanbe while investigation continues. Opposition leader from Gorno-Badakhshan province, Saodatsho Adolatov, sentenced 30 July to 5 years jail for inciting hatred.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Aman Sagidullaev, leader of separatist movement Alga Karakalpakstan and former minister on Karakalpakstan Agricultural Department, declared wanted 3 July; Sagidullaev accused of stealing over $1mn. Uzbekistan’s National Security Forces purged early July; 40 officers reportedly arrested or dismissed. 6 alleged Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) members reportedly sentenced 7 July to 9-15 years jail for terrorism.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Kazakh FM Erlan Idrissov 16 June said no evidence Kazakh citizens fighting alongside separatists in Ukraine; local initiatives to support civilian populations in SE Ukraine shut down by govt early June.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Tensions with Uzbekistan over gas and water continued: govt 9 June threatened to close vital canal to Uzbek Namangan agricultural region; Russian-owned Gazprom, owner of KyrgyzGas and developer of Uzbek gas fields, 10 June sent representatives to Tashkent in attempt to mediate: both Kyrgyz and Uzbek govts unwilling to compromise. Public discontent over lack of gas in southern Kyrgyzstan grew: Uzbek authorities 17 June reportedly agreed to resume gas supplies to southern Kyrgyzstan if land corridor to Sokh enclave opened and construction of hydropower plants stopped.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Canadian resident Alexander Sodikov arrested 16 June, accused of espionage after meeting with opposition leader Alim Sherzamonov in Khorog to discuss civil society role in Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Province; EU 27 June released statement expressing concerns, urging Tajik govt to provide information on arrest. British ambassador early June attempted to meet Sherzamonov in Khorog; authorities insisted he leave, citing firefight on Tajik-Afghan border.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov 2 June threatened to dismiss Turkmenistan's border police chiefs after three border guards were shot by Taliban militants at Afghan frontier late May.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Uzbek-Russian relations continued to deteriorate following Uzbekistan’s ongoing condemnation of Russian actions in Ukraine: Uzbek President Islam Karimov 6 June warned of growing Russian domination and loss of political independence for Kazakhstan and Belarus following their late-May signing of Eurasian Economic Union. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claimed 8 June attack on Karachi airport (see Pakistan).

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Central Election Commission 12 May approved election plan and schedule: parliamentary and local elections to be held 21 Dec 2014, presidential elections May 2015. NATO liaison office opened 16 May in Tashkent; SRSG James Appathurai confirmed cooperation on defence, military and counter narcotics initiatives. Karakalpakstan independence groups claimed to have formed militia group.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Commission formed by President Berdymukhamedov 17 May tasked with modernising constitution in line with international norms. Berdymukhamedov 14 May visited Beijing, discussed continued cooperation including on gas exports from Turkmenistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Tajik authorities continued crackdown on local networks sending citizens to fight in Syria; bill adopted mid-May to allow prosecution of Tajiks for taking part in military conflicts abroad. 3 killed in clashes in Khorog, Gorno-Badakhshan region, following police offensive against suspected criminals 21 May; protesters 24 May attacked security forces building, 1 killed; civil society and authorities 25 May agreed to investigation.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Kyrgyz-Tajik border tensions continued: some 60 injured 7 May in mass brawl in Vorukh, Tajik enclave; mob same day attacked Kok-Terek village in Kyrgyzstan, burned vehicles, shops and petrol station; Kyrgyz citizens 9 May blocked Isfara-Vorukh road, accused Tajiks, demanded prosecution of those responsible. Crowds same day gathered in Batken, demanded governor’s resignation, said if govt fails to resolve border issue residents would do it. Both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan govts said they would accelerate border delimitation and demarcation. Kyrgyz parliament committee suggested limiting water supply from Toktogul reservoir to Uzbekistan, risking increased tensions with Uzbekistan. Kyrgyz security 17 May arrested Uzbek intelligence agent, said he was under orders to kill Rashod Kamalov, influential imam and alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir leader.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 7 May met U.S. Deputy Sec State William Burns instead of attending Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) meeting in Moscow as scheduled. Kazakh Senate 15 May ratified agreement with Russia to create unified regional air defence system. Nazarbayev 19-22 May visited China, discussed bilateral cooperation. Founding treaty of Eurasian Economic Union (EES) signed by Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus 29 May in Astana, due to come into force 1 Jan 2015; dozens of protesters demonstrating against EES arrested 29 May in Astana.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Army 22 April held military exercises near Kyrgyz border. Comes amid increased tensions as govt 10 April ended gas deliveries to Kyrgyzstan’s Osh and Jalalabad provinces (see Kyrgyzstan). President Karimov 17 April signed law giving PM right to nominate regional governors, Tashkent mayor; granted parliament right to control cabinet’s activities, approve nomination of PM, express confidence in govt via vote, role in formation of election commission. Govt 19 March issued regulation ordering Internet cafés to install CCTV, store records of visited websites. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure 28 March met in Tashkent, discussed extremist website database, regional security, Afghanistan.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Turkmen and Azerbaijani officials 2 April met in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku to discuss bilateral cooperation on possible gas transport routes for gas exports to Europe.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Amid anxiety over relations with Russia and potential economic impact of Russia-West split, Karim Massimov, PM from 2007-2012, reappointed 2 April. Oil and gas minister 7 April publicly discussed options to divert oil export routes from Russia towards China, Iran or through Azerbaijan, Georgia. Military early April conducted drills in NE and near Almaty. Rights groups criticised wide ranging changes to criminal code, including death penalty for terrorism, jail terms for unregistered NGOs and religious organisations, decree restricting press freedom in case of state of emergency.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Amid worsening energy and food insecurity, agriculture minister warned food security at critical point; energy minister 2 April said country will be unable to export energy in 2015 due to low water levels. Uzbekistan shut off gas to Osh and Jalalabad provinces after Russia’s Gazprom 10 April took over state-owned Kyrgyzgaz. Kyrgyz-Tajik border tensions over water and land continued; tensions also reviving around Kyrgyzstan’s Sokh enclave in Uzbekistan. Opposition protest in capital 10 April passed peacefully; violent anti-mine protest in Talas early April prompted president to visit province. Parliament 16 April approved amendments to criminal code outlawing spreading of false information via media, raising concerns about freedom of press. Newly-appointed PM Otorbayev 17 April said joining Russia-led Customs Union will help country tackle economic and social challenges. Osh regional TV station sold to Russian businessman.

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers met in Dushanbe 1 April, discussed Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, military-technological cooperation and joint anti-terrorism military exercise to be held in China. Deputy head of U.S. Special Operations Command Central same day met with high-ranking officials, discussed bilateral security cooperation. During visit to Kabul President Rahmon 26 March signed cooperation agreements with Afghanistan including on customs, transport. In 23 April annual address president stated political and economic ties with Russia a priority; vowed to continue construction of Roghun Dam, opposed by Uzbekistan. Security services said they prevented terrorist act against aluminium plant in Tursunzade early April.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Uzbekistan 4 and 28 March urged Ukraine’s territorial integrity to be respected. Govt made changes to constitution seemingly devolving more powers to PM’s office and creating more reporting procedures between regional and central govt; observers dismissed changes as window dressing that will not impact govt practices. In interview with U.S. Central Command-funded news website, Uzbek security official claimed there are 5,000 IMU members in Afghanistan, group still aims to penetrate Uzbek borders; said some 7,000 people detained or under surveillance because of suspected links to IMU. Socio-economic conditions continue to worsen with inflation running high on food items and gas, electricity price hikes due 1 April.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt coalition collapsed 18 March when Ata-Meken pulled out; President’s Social Democratic Party, Ar-Namys and Ata-Meken 31 March agreed to form new coalition. Opposition grouping pulled together by pro-Western independent MP Ravshan Jeenbekov held first conference; leading opposition figures former mayor of Osh Melis Myrzakmatov and Ata-Jurt leader Kamchybek Tashiev did not attend. Former FM Alikbek Jekshenkulov denied involvement in Jeenbekov’s movement. Jeenbekov denied allegations he obtained funds from U.S. govt. Govt late Feb set up new force under interior ministry to deal with pubic unrest. Bishkek police early March outlined formation of local militias to guarantee law and order in event of public unrest. Kyrgyz and Tajik govts reportedly discussing possible land exchanges to resolve longstanding border disputes; following Jan closures, some border checkpoints reportedly reopening. Govt ended right to sit final school exams in Uzbek language, contradicting positive rhetoric on seeking to improve relations with 14% ethnic minority population. Govt 11 March said ousted Ukrainian President Yanukovych not Ukrainian president, 20 March recognised as legitimate results of 16 March referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Chair of Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matvienko visited Dushanbe 12-13 March, reportedly discussed migration, political-military cooperation and border issues with President Rahmon. Matvienko reiterated Russia will help Tajikistan strengthen borders ahead of Afghan presidential elections and NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. Russian FM Lavrov early March praised Tajikistan for hosting Russia’s 201st military base. Govt refrained from commenting on Russian actions in Ukraine. Parliament considering changing legislative basis of how Tajikistan is governed by doing away with regions, re-organising country as a single unit.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Taliban denied responsibility for 26 Feb killing of 3 Turkmen border guards, said it was a set-up by Afghan govt. Turkmenistan reportedly stepped up patrols in border towns, sent reservists for training on border at Serhetabat, important outpost for Russian logistics during Soviet-Afghan war. Govt refrained from commenting on Russian actions in Ukraine.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Amid uncertainty over regional response to Russian actions in Ukraine, President Nazarbayev fielded series of phone calls with U.S., Russian, German, UK leaders 10-14 March. Foreign ministry initially voiced respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international law, but govt 18 March recognised as legitimate results of 16 March referendum in Crimea, regarded Russian actions “with understanding”. EU decided to discontinue post of Special Representative for Central Asia as of 28 Feb.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Following Jan tensions along Kyrgyz-Tajik border, countries attempted to resolve border demarcation issues around Tajik enclave Vorukh diplomatically with 2 rounds of talks 31 Jan and 14 Feb, but with little progress. Tajik side announced land corridor joining Vorukh to Tajikistan would be created, Kyrgyz side denied; next high-level meeting due March. Points of contention reportedly include disagreement over what Soviet era agreements and maps should be used as basis of negotiation. CSTO head 20 Feb said situation along Tajik-Kyrgyz border had improved, however intercommunal violence simmering around Vorukh enclave with series of incidents ratcheting up tensions between ethnic Tajiks and Kyrgyz in area. Border troops 23 Jan killed 11 alleged Uighur separatists in remote valley in east. Men reportedly entered from China’s Xinjiang province, armed with knives and rifle but no ammunition, said to have murdered Kyrgyz national who apprehended them; authorities claim they were planning to carry out terror attacks in Karakol or Bishkek, refused to surrender. New opposition coalition formed with aim of overthrowing President Atambayev, bridging north-south divide: includes Ata-Jurt and former Osh mayor. MPs early Feb approved memo on new ownership structure of Kumtor gold mine, proposing equal stake by Kyrgyzstan and Canadian partner in new joint company until 2026. Russia and Kyrgystan 19 Feb signed preliminary agreement for Russia to take control of Manas airport. Authorities 17 Feb announced 6 alleged members of terrorist ring, some trained in Syria, arrested in Osh.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Media reported deputy FM met with Afghan clerics linked to Taliban, suggesting Ashgabat may be seeking to rekindle accord it had with Afghanistan during 1990s. 3 border guards reportedly killed by Taliban in NW province Baghdis 26 Feb.

“The Achilles heel of Central Asian security”, RFE/RL, 16 Feb. 2014. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Govt in talks with Kyrgyzstan over border tensions that erupted Jan (see Kyrgyzstan). Tajik and Russian FMs 6 Feb signed protocol on Russian 201st military base in Tajikistan, following over a year of negotiations. Amid continued Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) attempts to reinforce Tajik-Afghan border with military equipment transfers, CSTO head in Dushanbe for talks with President Rahmon 19 Feb. Senior U.S. diplomat visited Tajikistan late Feb to discuss bilateral cooperation, Afghanistan. 4 men in northern district Istaravshan, Sughd province, reportedly arrested late Jan on suspicion of being members of outlawed religious extremist group Jamaat Ansarullah.

“Tajiks claim travel to Kyrgyzstan hindered”, IWPR, 4 Feb. 2014. 

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

In ongoing public battle between President Karimov’s daughter Gulnara Karimova and powerful head of National Security Service (SNB) Rustam Inoyatov, president’s chief of security Muidjon Tokhiri 17 Feb led raid on Karimova’s apartment, arrested 3 close associates. 10 close associates reportedly being investigated including for involvement in forgery, illegal business activities, money laundering, tax evasion and concealment of foreign currency. Karimova and her daughter, a U.S. citizen, were in apartment when raid happened; Karimova claims she is under house arrest. Umbrella organisation of opposition groups in exile calling for armed struggle against Karimov.

“Birdamlik leader on the split in power in Uzbekistan and Gulnara Karimova”, Uznews, 26 Feb. 2014. 

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

National bank 11 Feb unexpectedly devalued currency 19%, prompting series of small protests with some arrests, panic buying, run on 3 banks, expectations of price increases. Move generated much public criticism; govt blocked internet petition calling for President Nazarbayev to resign. Column of military vehicles including armoured personal carriers appeared in Almaty 13 Feb; defence ministry said it was test drive. SMS messaging services and apps unavailable same day, observers speculated test of blocking equipment. In 13 Feb media interview Nazarbayev did not rule out seeking presidency again in 2016. In parliament 14 Feb Nazarbayev defended currency devaluation, ordered govt to monitor and control prices for consumer goods and exchange bureaus; threatened to dismiss govt if they fail to attract foreign investment; said pensions and student stipends will be increased by 14% and 10% as of April; also called on 3 major firms to increase salaries 10%.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

President Karimov 14 Jan pledged to boost defence capabilities in response to increasing regional tensions, particularly after withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan; said drawdown posed serious threat to Uzbekistan and region.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Sharp deterioration in relations with Kyrgyzstan following violent clashes at border (see Kyrgyzstan).   

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Tensions at Kyrgyz-Tajik border escalated as 11 Jan clashes between border forces left several guards on both sides injured, prompted both countries to send additional troops to area. Clashes reportedly broke out over Kyrgyzstan’s construction of new road through disputed border territory in Ferghana Valley that would bypass Tajik enclave Vorukh. Kygyzstan reported Tajik border troops fired mortars, rocket-propelled grenades to hit transformer station, water pump inside Kyrgyz territory, claimed attack premeditated; Tajikistan alleged Kyrgyz border guards fired first. Kyrgyzstan reportedly closed all border crossing points to Tajikistan, 14 Jan withdrew ambassador. Folllowing talks countries agreed to withdraw additional troops from disputed area late Jan; vice PMs met in Bishkek 30 Jan. Former Osh mayor Melis Myrzakmatov 15 Jan lost ballot in Osh city council against pro-presidential candidate Aitmamat Kadyrbaev. Myrzakmatov said elections “held completely unfairly, completely unlawfully”; addressing 15 Jan mass rally of supporters vowed to start “real political struggle” soon. Close ally of President Atambayev appointed mayor of Bishkek 15 Jan; was only candidate in elections.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

French court 9 Jan approved extradition of fugitive Kazakh banker and opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov to Russia or Ukraine; Ablyzov, accused of embezzling $6bn from BTA Bank, said accusations politically motivated. Human Rights Watch 9 Jan warned Ablyazov “at serious risk of ill-treatment”, likely to be denied fair trial if returned to Kazakhstan. FM 20 Jan said Kazakhstan to step up financial, political commitments to Afghanistan to counter security threats after withdrawal of NATO troops.

Turkmenistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Democratic Party re-elected in 15 Dec parliamentary elections, winning 47 out of 125 seats; newly-formed Party of Industrialists, loyal to President Berdymukhamedov, won 14 seats. Turnout reportedly 91%. Rights groups said polls marked by complete lack of opposition. 

Tajikistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) prosecutor’s office 6 Dec opened criminal case into 29 Nov clashes between security forces and some 20 gunmen in provincial capital Khorog, prompted by attempt to arrest drug control official accused of weapons smuggling. Incident perceived as move by recently re-elected President Rahmon to assert control over restive GBAO. Russian ambassador in 10 Dec media interview said Russian troops from 201st military base ready to help Tajikistan defend border with Afghanistan should situation deteriorate following NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. 5 students sentenced to 2 years’ jail for fighting alongside rebels in Syria. 

Kyrgyzstan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Ata Jurt supporters 2 Dec stormed regional govt HQ in Osh demanding release of Ata Jurt MP Akhmatbek Keldibekov, arrested 22 Nov. Osh mayor Melis Myrzakmatov, ally of former president Bakiev, offered support to protesters; summoned to Bishkek and sacked 5 Dec. Myrzakmatov called dismissal “political decision”; around 3,000 supporters 7 Dec demanded his return to mayoral office. Bishkek mayor Isa Omurkulov, under investigation for alleged abuse of office, resigned 4 Dec. Protests calling for nationalisation of country’s largest gold mine Kumtor continued: protesters 10 Dec declared state of emergency, curfew in Saruu. Parliament 11 Dec finally approved sale of natural gas company Kyrgyzgaz to Russia’s Gazprom. Sporadic violence continued on Kyrgyz-Tajik border: several roads closed after alleged arson attack 17 Dec. Deputy PM for Security warned Afghan Taliban has Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uzbek wings.

Uzbekistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Speculation over power struggle within govt fuelled by 16 Dec appointment of Adkham Akhmedbayev as interior minister, interpreted as boost for Tashkent political clan over rivals from Samarkand, Jizzakh regions. FM visited U.S. 9-11 Dec for talks on regional stability, rights, economic development. Row continued between President Karimov’s daughter Gulnara and her family, as Gulnara in interview said she was pushed out of country. Power and gas shortages continued across country. 

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Govt expressed concern over Kazakh citizens fighting alongside Syrian rebels following Oct release of video purporting to show 150 Kazakh jihadists in Syria. President Nazarbayev 1 Nov met Russian President Putin in Astana, signed cooperation treaty.    

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

President Berdymukhamedov 9 Nov called for “open and transparent” parliamentary elections scheduled for 15 Dec, however only opposition is party set up under his orders. Afghan media 20 Nov reported Pakistani Taliban fighting alongside and providing arms to Taliban fighters near Turkmen border, displacing hundreds of ethnic Turkmen families. Berdymukhamedov 25-27 Nov visited Uzbek President Karimov, signed 8 agreements on bilateral cooperation.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Month saw confrontation between President’s daughter Gulnara Karimova and her family and state as Gulnara accused head of National Security Services of attempting to murder her and seize power; reported 2 of her bodyguards arrested and tortured; 2 business associates detained; and alleged individuals associated with her charity in Uzbekistan being held/harassed by security services; 21 Nov deleted twitter account through which she had documented accusations. Electricity, gasoline shortages reported in Tashkent and other cities. Workers clashed with police at day labour market in Tashkent 8 Nov. UN Committee Against Torture 22 Nov called on Uzbekistan to end “systematic” use of torture, citing “numerous, ongoing and consistent allegations” that detainees were tortured, including beatings, rape, sexual violence. Chairman of Uzbekistan National Human Rights Center Akmal Saidov 23 Nov said charges “unfounded”, “biased”.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

President Rahmon, in power since 1992, re-elected for another 7 years in 6 Nov elections with 83.1% of votes. Most significant rival candidate barred from running; OSCE 7 Nov reported elections “lacked genuine choice and meaningful pluralism”. Rahmon 20 Nov replaced defence minister Sherali Hairulloev, 23 Nov dismissed PM Akil Akilov. Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Sec Gen Nikolai Bordyuzha expressed concern over instability on Afghan-Tajik border, announced strengthening of border through CSTO forces by late Dec. Russia’s special envoy Zamir Kabulov 20 Nov expressed concern over security challenges in region from Islamist groups, said Russian military presence in Tajikistan would increase in significance.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Facing continued opposition protests demanding bigger Kyrgyz share in Kumtor goldmine run by Canadian-listed Centerra Gold, President Atambayev 7 Nov in media interview said nationalization remained option, but warned of economic consequences. Prosecutor General early Nov announced 10 criminal cases against former govt officials related to 2004 Kumtor restructuring. Opposition Ata Jurt MP Akhmatbek Keldibekov detained 20 Nov on corruption charges; protesters 21 Nov demanded release, blocked highway in Osh.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Amid discussions over President Karimov’s succession after Dec 2014 elections, president’s daughters Lola and Gulnara Karimova engaged in public spat. Karimov’s nephew Akbarali Abdullaev arrested for tax fraud, corruption, organised crime. Tashkent reportedly in talks with Taliban to allow them to open office in country. Local media reported Uzbekistan secured $1bn in cotton sales this year; Walk Free Foundation index on slavery ranked Uzbekistan as having second highest prevalence of slavery in world during cotton harvesting season. UN Committee Against Torture 30 Oct expressed concern over reports of widespread torture in Uzbekistan.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Rights groups 2 Oct called on govt to release information about prisoners arrested for alleged participation in 2002 coup attempt against former President Niyazov, including former FM Shikhmuradov; campaign supported by U.S.. Govt 5 Oct announced start of campaign for Dec parliamentary elections; elections will for first time feature 2 parties, but 2nd party set up under orders of President Berdymukhamedov. Media report OSCE, EU and CIS to send observers. EU Special Envoy Patricia Flor 3 Oct met Berdymukhamedov during Central Asia Border Security Initiative conference, said EU continues to support security, energy, trade cooperation.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Violent protests demanding nationalisation of mines continued, with 3 attacks on British-, Chinese- and Australian-held mines. During 7 Oct protests at Kumtor gold mine, local governor kidnapped for several hours; 400 protesters 8 Oct barricaded highway; 10 charged with hostage-taking. President Atambayev described protests as “banditry”, “terrorism”. Parliament 23 Oct rejected Sept deal between govt and Canada-listed Centerra Gold, demanded new deal to raise Kyrgyz ownership to 67%. U.S. confirmed it will vacate Manas airbase July 2014, shifting logistical hub for Afghanistan withdrawal to airbase in Romania.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 16 Oct appointed longstanding ally and former director-general of UN Geneva office Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as Senate chairman, sparking discussion on Nazarbayev’s still undisclosed succession plan. Nazarbayev 2 Oct approved new counter-terrorism strategy, focused on domestic prevention.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Main opposition candidate Oynihol Bobonazarova 11 Oct dropped out of 6 Nov presidential elections after narrowly missing 210,000 signatures required to register as candidate; said campaign subject to pressure, harassment from authorities, police, media. Parliament 1 Oct ratified agreement with Russia to extend Russia’s 201st military base until 2042, in return for duty-free oil imports from Russia, preferential treatment for Tajik migrant workers, military assistance. Govt also began negotiations with Russia on use of Ayni airbase. Rakhmon 21 Oct held talks with Afghan President Karzai on security, energy cooperation, creating Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan railway line.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

In wide-ranging reshuffle of security and law-enforcement agencies, President Berdymukhamedov 1 Sept dismissed prosecutor-general and top govt officials over accusations of corruption. During 3 Sept visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed deals with govt to triple gas exports to China by 2020 via new pipeline, construction to start 2016.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Opposition leaders summoned to questioning 3 Sept after airing on state broadcaster of videos allegedly showing opposition activists planning to extort $3mn from Kumtor gold-mining corporation, and overthrow govt, including by poisoning Naryn River and putting blame on mining company, with help of Hizb ut-Tahrir. Alleged extortionists arrested. Govt and Canada-listed Centerra Gold signed non-binding agreement on restructuring ownership of Kumtor mine, with govt swapping current shares and $100m future profits for 50% holding in new joint venture. Authorities 16 Sept announced 3 people arrested including 1 Kazakh and 2 Kyrgyz citizens in southern city Osh, reportedly members of Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) returning from Syria to conduct attacks in Bishkek. Chinese President Xi Jinping signed $3bn deal with govt to boost Kyrgyz section of gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China. During 13 Sept Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Xi announced Chinese funding of civilian transit hub at Manas airport after U.S. air force vacates it in 2014. After talks with President Atambayev in Brussels 17 Sept, European Commission President Barroso announced increase of EU financial support: $40.5mn macroeconomic aid, $18.2mn to support rule of law. Kyrgyz and Uzbek officials met late month to discuss disputed section of border in Osh province.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Opposition parties 10 Sept announced lawyer and rights activist Oynihol Bobonazarova as their candidate in presidential elections set for 6 Nov; joins 2 other candidates running against incumbent President Rahkmon, current favourite to win. During 23 Sept meeting in Sochi, Russia, Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) agreed to increase assistance to Tajik security forces to protect country’s border with Afghanistan.

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