20 august 2018

Central Asia news

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

31.01.2018 17:59 msk Analytics Business Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

While strengthening border security can help prevent the Afghan conflict from spilling over into Central Asia, sustainable solutions to the out-of-control domestic radicalization processes in the region are much harder to find. And it is precisely here that Central Asia’s anti-terrorist measures are often counterproductive. In fact, the region’s political and economic makeup is further conducive to the rise of domestic extremism.

Special report: Market of teen suicide bombers in Afghanistan

Special report: Market of teen suicide bombers in Afghanistan

23.01.2018 12:14 msk Politics Afghanistan

Afghanistan has become one of the main links in the structure of the transnational market of suicide bombers which the so-called Haqqani network is actively developing. Fergana News presents the special report by its correspondent who talked to witnesses of the training of suicide bombers.

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

04.01.2018 16:22 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan

One of the main issues on the world agenda of the outgoing year is the fight against the terrorist threat. The success of the international forces in countering the so-called "Islamic State" (the banned terrorist organisation "the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, IS, ISIS in English, or "Daesh" in Arabic) in Syria can be considered only a local and intermediate victory in this struggle. How serious are the concerns about the redeployment of IS forces to Afghanistan and the establishment of a new stronghold of the caliphate there, what threats to Russia and the countries of Central Asia are real, and what are - imaginary, how not to turn the fight against terrorism into witch-hunt - Fergana News has asked these and other questions from expert of the Centre for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, the head of the Analytical Group "Accents", political scientist Andrei Serenko.

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

13.12.2017 09:44 msk Analytics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

There are numerous reports from the northern provinces of Afghanistan about the arrival of well-equipped militants, who do not hide their belonging to the IS terrorist group (the banned terrorist organisation "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, ISIS or IS Eng., "Daesh" Arab.) The Fergana News correspondent talked with residents, authorities, and learned the details of what is happening in the provinces of Balkh, Jowzjan and Faryab.

General Dostum returns. Who supports who?

General Dostum returns. Who supports who?

22.11.2017 00:49 msk Politics Central Asia Afghanistan

Contradictions among various political groups in the northern Afghan province of Balkh have been exacerbating. These developments are happening against the backdrop of rumours about the possible return of the vice-president of Afghanistan, the leader of ethnic Uzbeks, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, to the country, and unofficial reports about the resignation of the governor of Balkh, the influential politician, ethnic Tajik, Atta Mohammad Noor.

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

14.11.2017 23:49 msk Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

In the northern provinces of Afghanistan—Sar-e Pul and Balkh—the positions of the militants of the so-called "Islamic State" are visibly strengthened. Muhammad Zahir Wahdat, the governor of the Sar-e Pul province, told a Fergana News correspondent that Daesh is trying to expand its presence in all districts of the province. The governor also asserted that there are districts in which the administration is the official power during the daytime, but nightfall brings the authority of Daesh. According to the official, local ethnic Turkmen and Uzbeks are now actively replenishing the ranks of the group. Active recruitment is being carried out, mainly in the districts of Kush Tapa and Sayad. According to the governor, the province administration has repeatedly informed NATO in northern Afghanistan and the central government of the country, but the centre does not provide sufficient assistance.

Does Turkmenistan possess military might to counter influx of militants?

Does Turkmenistan possess military might to counter influx of militants?

08.11.2017 22:52 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan Turkmenistan

Over the past year, as the "Islamic State" has ceded its positions in Syria and Iraq, the architects of the world caliphate are said to be stepping up their activity in Afghanistan. In summer, the U.S. military reported it had liquidated three ISIL field commands in that country, and later the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that somebody had been transferring Islamic militants to Afghanistan using light helicopters without identification marks. At the same time, the decreasing defensive capability of the neighbouring Turkmenistan, which began, according to various sources, in the first half of 2010 could lead to the gradual penetration of the terrorist organisation into the territory of this post-Soviet republic. And Ashgabat's close and friendly relations with Afghan authorities could only simplify and speed up this process.

«To people like you I can say that I’m Uzbek»

«To people like you I can say that I’m Uzbek»

03.10.2017 16:09 msk Politics Migration Afghanistan Uzbekistan

Although Uzbek tribes had lived in Afghanistan for centuries, Soviet Uzbeks’ ethnic kin in Afghanistan weren’t part of their national narrative. The Afghan Uzbeks’ history was not studied properly in Soviet Uzbekistan, nor was it mentioned in our textbooks. At school, we were taught the history of Uzbekistan within the Soviet republic’s territory, and the history of Uzbek people stopped at the Soviet borders. The Soviet media didn’t mention Afghanistan’s Uzbeks. Later I discovered that they weren’t part of the Afghan narrative or curriculum either. The Uzbeks of Afghanistan were some kind of a taboo subject in the two neighbouring countries. But history they had.

Deteriorating situation in northern Afghanistan: told by local and commented by expert

Deteriorating situation in northern Afghanistan: told by local and commented by expert

10.05.2017 21:23 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Russia Tajikistan

The anti-government forces took control of the Qalay-I-Zal district of the Afghan province of Kunduz, located on the border with Tajikistan, world media reported on 7 May. Heavy battles that began shortly after the Taliban had announced the ‘spring offensive’ are going on in the Zebak district, as well as in the vicinity of the city of Kunduz, which may soon again be in the hands of the armed opposition. As we have already reported, a state of emergency had been declared in the Ishkashim district of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast of the Republic of Tajikistan bordering with fighting scenes across the Panj River. Local residents are alarmed and frightened by the fact that Afghan militants have come close to the Tajik border. Moreover, it is not entirely clear who they are and what their goals are. According to the ‘Fergana’ source in one of the international organisations, among the militants fighting ‘beyond the river’ are also refugees from Tajikistan, who moved there because of persecution by the authorities. A number is known too: they can make from 200 up to 250 people.

Human trafficking and IS followers in Central Asia

Human trafficking and IS followers in Central Asia

31.01.2017 09:21 msk Human Rights Politics Migration Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Neo-patrimonial regimes have been established in Central Asian countries following the implosion of the Soviet Union. The new elites divided entire economies and “sweet-spot” government positions between “bosses” and their “vassals.” Meanwhile, the rest of the society, who are excluded from such networks, has no chances to secure good jobs, to peacefully and beneficially conduct business and remains impoverished. Such systems of management create fertile grounds for booming human trafficking and joining the ranks of IS, Kazakh political scientist Talgat Mamyrayymov says in the article he authored below.

Tajik-Afghan borders in photos: What lies on the other side of Panj River?

Tajik-Afghan borders in photos: What lies on the other side of Panj River?

20.01.2017 15:09 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan

Politicians and experts have long been expressing concerns regarding the situation on the Afghan side of the border near Tajikistan. The length of the border the two countries share is 1,344km, of which 920km are the Gorno-Badakhshan section while the remaining over 424km are the Khatlon Region of Tajikistan. The latter section is the one that causes most concern in terms of attempts to violate the state border from the Afghan side to contraband illicit drugs. The situation in the southern ends of Gorno-Badakhsan Autonomous Region, known by is Russian abbreviation, GBAO, is relative stable. However, according to experts, there is a risk that the situation could deteriorate.

NATO Liaison Office in Tashkent to close, but alliance to continue cooperation in region

NATO Liaison Office in Tashkent to close, but alliance to continue cooperation in region

17.11.2016 17:52 msk Analytics Politics Interview Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Fergana learnt from its own sources that the NATO liaison office to Central Asia will no longer be active starting next year. The liaison office is currently based in Tashkent, but coordinate the alliance’s activities and cooperation with all the countries in the region. What has caused the decision? We contacted Rosaria Puglisi, head of the liaison office, who has kindly agreed to respond to this and other questions.

Taalatbek Masadykov: “Radical religious views can quite realistically fracture Afghanistan”

Taalatbek Masadykov: “Radical religious views can quite realistically fracture Afghanistan”

19.11.2015 15:44 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan

Taalatbek Masadykov, the former political director of the UN Special Political Mission to Afghanistan in 2002-2014, has had a conversation with Central Asia expert Arkadiy Dubnov to discuss the current events in Afghanistan and whether Taliban or IS could or should be negotiated with. They also discussed the parties interested in the continuation of war in Afghanistan; the current and past Afghan presidents; IS’s funding sources; the Pashtos and the ethnic composition of Afghanistan; and threats Central Asia is facing currently.

“Russia’s southward turn”: Who benefits?

“Russia’s southward turn”: Who benefits?

18.09.2015 00:59 msk Analytics Business Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan China Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

We discussed Russia’s “southward turn”, a much-discussed topic lately, with Vladimir Milov, a well-known Russian economist, politician and Demokraticheskiy Vybor Party Chairman. After all, the roads to “long monies” that are vital for any economy’s survival are closed in the Europe-bound directions. These “road” will likely remain inaccessible for a long time, and the world does not have too many other alternatives to offer. What benefits and risks does this southward repositioning has to offer? What are our southern neighbours’ perspectives in terms of cooperation with Russia? Do it entail benefits for them, including the Central Asian nations?..

Russian expert on Arab affairs: Authoritarian regimes are main recruiters for IS

Russian expert on Arab affairs: Authoritarian regimes are main recruiters for IS

30.08.2015 02:07 msk Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan China Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

The so-called Islamic State (IS) group is one of the major threats to peace and stability in the world today, having caused so much speculation around this abbreviation. We believe it is simply necessary to interview one of the leading Russian experts on the matters of the Arab world. Aleksandr Shumilin is director of the Middle East Conflicts Analysis Centre under the USA and Canada Institute. Mr Shumilin has spent many years in the Middle East. The Fergana news agency invited him to the Central Asia Television to ask several questions on the conception of IS, and this terrorist organisation’s founders, sources of financing and what the world can offer to resist and combat it.

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