28 april 2017
Central Asia news
Gulyam and Sardor Umarov, natives of Uzbekistan, children of the formerly well-known opposition figure Sanjar Umarov, are currently engaged in large-scale technological projects in the U.S., while not forgetting their roots and developing business which is relevant with the interests of their homeland.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to quickly—until the end of this year that is—to draft a project of the Latin script-based Kazakh alphabet. Fergana Chief Editor Daniil Kislov shares his thoughts on positives and negatives of introducing said novelty in Kazakhstan.
It seems like everything in authoritarian countries has been created and established to materialise the phantasies of George Orwell and Franz Kafka. At that, sheer number of various prohibitions and laws far exceeds the number of such countries, causing disbelief in normal and healthy societies. Sometimes these regimes adopt such bills and laws that are confusing and one may not easily understand what punishable acts are. More often than not parts of such laws are interpreted in ways that make no sense whatsoever. Kazakhstan is no exception.
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.
The Harvard International Review's January 2017 edition includes an academic article on problems with water supply in Central Asia. The article author Alisher Ilkhamov is a Research Associate at the Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. According to Mr Ilkhamov, the worsening international relations in the region are the main source of water-related problems in post-Soviet Central Asia.
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.
The fate of Ruslan Kulebayev, the best known “terrorist” in Kazakhstan at this time, will be known on November 2. Prosecutor Jarkyn Bakashbayev is asking to implement the capital punishment. Even though Kazakhstan does not apply the capital punishment due to an indefinite moratorium, charges of terrorism could lead to such a verdict even if the assassination of 10 individuals that Kulebayev is charged with is discounted.
Authorities and totalitarian countries often utilize physicians and medicines to suppress dissenting citizens and political opponents. Modern Kazakhstan is no exception. Those criticizing Astana risk being declared insane and ending up in psychiatric institutions.
In June, Kazakhstan fell victim to homegrown terrorism. On June 5, a group of about 20 unknown armed assailants stormed two gun supply shops and a National Guard base in Aktobe (Northwestern Kazakhstan) in a vaguely coordinated assault that initially left 4 gunmen, a police officer, and 2 civilians killed. Mathieu Boulègue, an analyst in the field of Russia/CIS security and geostrategic issues, analyzes the situation.
Street protests, against plans to step up land privatisation, were broken up by police in many of Kazakhstan’s largest cities on Saturday. The demonstrations were organised by informal on-line networks, rather than by any of the recognised opposition groups. Here are key points from a report by Andrei Grishin (Almaty).
According to the special services of Kyrgyzstan, about 140 minors were deported from the Republic of Iraq and Syria, who are now held in the military training bases of ISIS. Among them, the vast majority of children are under the age of 14. According to the human rights organizations more than 600 children from Central Asia are on the territory of Syria and Iraq that is controlled by ISIS.
The entire Muslim world is about to celebrate the Eid al-Adha—the holiday of sacrifice. But today’s photo-story Fergana is presenting is not about the Muslim holiday, but sacrificial rites in general. In August 2015 photojournalist Timur Karpov visited the Jambay village in Tashkent Region, which is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Kazakhs. The local residents were having a circumcision party and slaughtered a horse for the occasion.
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?..
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.
The history of border conflicts sheds light on many gruesome stories. Bilateral and multilateral “eternal friendship agreements” among the nations in Central Asia are shelved as soon as territorial claims surface or another interethnic conflict breaks out or disagreements on border zone residents’ interest erupt. Three incidents involving firearms have taken place in three different parts of the Uzbek borders with neighbours recently.