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CrisisWatch Uzbekistan

Unchanged Situation

Islamic State (ISIS) claimed first cross-border attack from Afghanistan, clashes at Kyrgyz border left two dead, and wheat shortages raised concerns over food security in coming months. Amid uptick in activity in Afghanistan since Taliban takeover last year (see Afghanistan), Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) 18 April said it fired ten rockets from Afghan town of Hairatan at military base located in Uzbek border town of Termez in first such assault of its kind; president’s spokesperson next day denied claims, claiming “situation is stable” and calling on citizens to disregard “provocations”. Kyrgyz Border Guard Service 5 April reported incident between Uzbek border guards and Kyrgyz nationals allegedly attempting to smuggle goods into Uzbek territory on horseback, which resulted in Uzbek guards fatally shooting two individuals. Kazakhstan, major global wheat supplier, 1 April imposed quotas on wheat exports from 15 April to 1 June due to supply disruptions following Russian invasion of Ukraine (see Ukraine); while quotas allow limited exports and Kazakhstan made public assurances it plans to continue regional supply, concerns mounted about potential impact on food security in coming months; Tashkent late March had announced plans to buy 100,000 tonnes of wheat from Kazakhstan between April and July to ensure domestic food security, with imports mainly from Kazakhstan making up about 35% of domestic wheat consumption. Meanwhile, govt 8 April delivered over 34 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Ukraine in further signal of support for country’s territorial integrity.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

4 Sep 2016
If the succession process [in Uzbekistan] is less than smooth, there is potential for this to create regional instability, particularly if we look to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Financial Times

Deirdre Tynan

Former Project Director, Central Asia
31 Aug 2016
If the transition [in Uzbekistan] turns to political chaos, the risk of violent conflict is high; and in a region as fragile as Central Asia, the risk of that spreading is also high. Voice of America

Deirdre Tynan

Former Project Director, Central Asia

Latest Updates

Briefing / Europe & Central Asia

Uzbekistan: In Transition

Domestic repression and self-imposed isolation has characterised Uzbekistan for much of the time since its independence in 1991. Following the death of Islam Karimov, the country’s long-time and only post-Soviet president, the outside world must seize a rare opportunity to re-engage with this critical Central Asian country.

Also available in 简体中文
Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

Un frágil Uzbekistán confía en una sucesión controlada

El derrame cerebral sufrido por el histórico líder autoritario de Uzbekistán (y los rumores sin confirmar de un posible fallecimiento) ha empujado al país hacia lo desconocido, pero los más íntimos del presidente van a tratar de conservar el poder y lograr que haya los mínimos trastornos durante la transición. 

Originally published in Esglobal

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.

Also available in Русский, 简体中文