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Tajikistan is tightly controlled by President Emomali Rahmon and a complex system of patronage and political repression are the hallmarks of his rule. The government’s elimination of moderate Islamic opposition risks creating an opening for violent jihadists and the country faces growing instability along its southern border with conflict-plagued Afghanistan. Through field research, analytical reports and advocacy, Crisis Group aims to mitigate Tajikistan’s internal and external threats and inform national and regional stakeholders about the risk of political instability and radicalisation in the face of government policies.

CrisisWatch Tajikistan

Unchanged Situation

Tensions rose 9-10 Jan along disputed border with Kyrgyzstan after stones thrown at cars and a house in Kyrgyzstan’s Batken region and gunshots fired; fuelled accusations on both Kyrgyz and Tajik sides over who started incident; 14 Jan prompted talks between Kyrgyz and Tajik officials on process of land exchange; sides established joint working group to decide on demarcation of 114-km border by 15 Feb. Local radio station 20 Jan reported that authorities previous weeks arrested some 70 suspected members of banned political groups, including possibly Muslim Brotherhood group; General Prosecutor Yusuf Rahmon 28 Jan said that 113 individuals suspected of such allegiances have been detained since beginning of Jan. Journalist Daler Sharifov, who had long reported on violations of religious freedoms, 28 Jan detained on charges of inciting ethnic or religious discord, could face up to five years imprisonment.

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Report / Europe & Central Asia

Water Pressures in Central Asia

Growing tensions in the Ferghana Valley are exacerbated by disputes over shared water resources. To address this, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan urgently need to step back from using water or energy as a coercive tool and focus on reaching a series of modest, bilateral agreements, pending comprehensive resolution of this serious problem.

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