There are strong indications that Uzbek security forces murdered one of Kyrgyzstan’s most prominent journalists, Alisher Saipov, in October 2007 during the build-up to Uzbekistan’s end of year presidential elections, most likely because of his involvement in Erk (Freedom), a leading exile opposition party.
30 April 2015
President Karimov sworn in for fourth term. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan released video late March pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL).
Uzbekistan remains a serious risk to itself and its region. While 69-year-old President Islom Karimov shows no signs of relinquishing power, despite the end of his legal term of office more than half a year ago, his eventual departure may lead to a violent power struggle.
After the indiscriminate killing of civilians by Uzbek security forces in the city of Andijon in 2005, the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on the government of President Islam Karimov.
Economic misrule and political repression have left Uzbekistan in a woeful state. President Islam Karimov’s intransigence has meant that efforts to encourage economic and political reform have failed.
On 13-14 May 2005, the government of Uzbekistan brutally suppressed a popular uprising in the eastern city of Andijon and the surrounding area.
Uzbekistan occupies a key strategic position in Central Asia and has a strong security relationship with the U.S. but its political system is highly repressive and its economy is barely reformed since Soviet times.
Since October 2001, Uzbekistan has been a key ally of the U.S. in the military campaign in Afghanistan. A U.S. base has been established and a far-reaching Agreement on Strategic Partnership was signed in March 2002.
Uzbekistan plays a pivotal role in Central Asia. It is the region’s most militarily capable and populous country, and large Uzbek minorities live in neighbouring states. As it approaches the tenth anniversary of its independence, however, internal and external pressures threaten to crack the nation’s thin veneer of stability.
International Crisis Group © 2015 |