Recent Violence in Central Asia: Causes and Consequences
Recent Violence in Central Asia: Causes and Consequences
Table of Contents
  1. Overview
Briefing 3 / Europe & Central Asia

Recent Violence in Central Asia: Causes and Consequences

Beginning in early August, a series of violent incidents have brought more attention to the prospects for large scale conflict in Central Asia than at any time since the end of Tajikistan’s civil war.

I. Overview

Beginning in early August, a series of violent incidents have brought more attention to the prospects for large scale conflict in Central Asia than at any time since the end of Tajikistan’s civil war.[fn]For a general account of conditions in the most crisis prone area of Central Asia, see ICG Asia Report No. 7, Central Asia: Crisis Conditions in Three States, 7 August 2000.Hide Footnote  Taliban forces launched a new offensive in northern Afghanistan, bringing that country’s civil war and a potential refugee problem to the border of the ill-prepared Tajikistan. This offensive coincided with a series of low-level incursions into Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan by armed detachments of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). A number of other unlinked incidents have added to a growing sense of general insecurity.

Some Central Asian governments, along with Russia, India, China and the USA, have linked the violence in Afghanistan or the Taliban with the IMU operations, claiming or implying that a common thread in these incidents is Islamic fundamentalism under arms, on the march and threatening Central Asia. This briefing gives an overview of the recent incidents, examines the nature of this common thread to the extent that it exists, and highlights some of the responses by key governments. A concluding section reviews the issues raised by the recent violence and response to it.

Central Asia/Brussels, 18 October 2000

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