Kyrgyzstan (Uzbeks)

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Kyrgyzstan (Uzbeks)

Risk Assessment

There is a moderate risk of rebellion by ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan in the
near future. Ethnic Uzbeks do exhibit several of the characteristics that
increase the risk of violence. They are concentrated in the southern regions
of Kyrgyzstan, in particular cities, share a strong group identity, and face
social and informal governmental restrictions on civil liberties and cultural
rights. Ethnic Uzbeks demonstrated a willingness to protest and rebel in the
early 1990s and, after a lull in the late 1990s, have recently increased their
levels of protest, including some acts of violence. Some Uzbeks have been
drawn to militant Islamic movements such as the Islamic Movement of
Uzbekistan (IMU, now sometimes called the Islamic Movement of Central
Asia), but the explicitly non-violent Islamic Hizb ut-Tahrir has had more
success in attracting adherents. Involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir, which
explicitly advocates the establishment of a Caliphate in Central Asia, has
exposed ethnic Uzbeks to increased state repression, but it also may
undermine the likelihood of violent actions by the minority.

Protest by ethnic Uzbeks will likely continue at low to moderate levels in the
near future. The Akayev government did little to address Uzbek grievances,
which only aggravated tensions, and it was southern cities, such as Osh
(where Uzbeks are concentrated), that saw the first violent revolt that ended
up ousting the president in 2005. It remains to be seen what policies the new
government will pursue, but if Uzbeks are not able to go through formal or
electoral channels to express grievances, popular protest can be expected to
increase.



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Analytic Summary

Kyrgyzstan became a constituent part of the Soviet Union in 1920. Known
as the Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Republic, it comprised present day
Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In 1925 Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan were
separated but both remained Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics. It was
only in 1936 that the Kyrgyz ASSR was given a full republic status within
the Soviet Union. As in many areas of Central Asia, borders were ill-defined
and each Central Asian republic contained not only the titular ethnic group
but significant populations of other groups. In Kyrgyzstan, the primary non-
titular ethnic group is the Uzbeks, who are concentrated in the southern Osh,
Batken and Dzhalal-Abad regions.

Tensions surrounding the role of ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan’s political life
began even before the republic declared independence from the USSR in
1991. In 1989, Uzbeks began demanding local autonomy from Moscow, and
some pressed for annexation of the Uzbek populated areas by neighboring
Uzbekistan.

These separatist-irredentist claims gathered momentum in 1990 and ethnic
clashes erupted in the region of Osh. At the time, the violence revolved
around the Kyrgyz government’s distribution of land for homestead plots.
The Osh incident was believed to have taken place without official
leadership and revealed the extent to which inter-ethnic tension had
accumulated. It also provided Uzbek elites with arguments supporting
demands for the union of Osh with Uzbekistan. While demands for union
with Uzbekistan have not been heard recently, there has been a consistent
demand for autonomy.



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International observers initially had high hopes for democracy in
Kyrgyzstan. President Akayev (1991-2005), though formerly a Communist,
was the only Central Asian leader not to have emerged from its highest
echelons, and thus he did not display the hostility to reforms found among
other former Communists in the region. However, by the 2000 elections
(which Akayev won with 74 percent of the vote amid accusations of
widespread irregularities), Akayev’s tenure had clearly turned authoritarian.
Despite these authoritarian developments, Akayev did make made efforts to
maintain inter-ethnic stability within the country. Accordingly he fostered a
dialogue between the three largest ethnic groups: the Kyrgyz, Russians and
Uzbeks, in an attempt to prevent resentments and misunderstandings from
erupting into violent clashes.

Ethnic Uzbeks have been represented in parliament from 1991 to present,
although they have been consistently underrepresented. Uzbeks also face
discrimination in jobs for the civil service as well as other practices that
restrict their ability to organize politically and have fair judicial hearings to
the same degree as ethnic Kyrgyz.

Uzbek grievances include a demand for greater participation in the political
process, improved economic opportunities, and greater language rights (in
schools and with in dealings with the government: Relevant representatives
of Uzbek interests include the Party of National Unity and Concord, and two
prominent individuals: Mahqamajan Mamasaidov (president of the Uzbek
Cultural Centre) and Davran Sabirov. Protests, which had peaked in the
early to mid-1990s, have been consistent but moderate since.

Ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan are also subject to pressures from beyond
Kyrgyzstan’s borders. Beginning in 1998, the Kyrgyz Uzbeks became a
primary target for recruitment by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

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(IMU), who operated from Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The IMU’s main aim
was to oust the secular regime of Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan in order to
build an Islamic state. Beginning in August 1999, southern Kyrgyzstan was
shaken by the terrorist activities of the IMU who had infiltrated the country
from their bases in Tajikistan and who demanded to be allowed to enter
Uzbekistan and fight Karimov's regime. A series of terrorist attacks
committed by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan occurred in 2001 and
2002. The IMU’s activities, however, seem to have been curtailed after US
forces obstructed their bases in Afghanistan.

From the state’s perspective, however, the most alarming recent
development has been the rise in support for the non-militant Islamic
organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned throughout Central Asia. Hizb
ut-Tahrir’s actions, such as distribution of anti-regime leaflets and
promoting what the government sees as religious extremism, have led to
widespread arrests of leaders and followers; almost all arrests of Hizb ut-
Tahrir activists have been ethnic Uzbeks.

References

Askar Akayev, "Kyrgyzstan: Central Asia's Democratic Alternative,"
Democratizatsiya, Winter 1993/94.

CSCE Briefing, Human Rights and Democratization in the Newly
Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, January 1993.

Digest, Monthly Newsletter of the CSCE.

Europa Publications, Far East and Australia 1994.

Europe Year book, 1998, vol.II

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Keesings Record of World Events, 1990-94.

Library of Congress on-line country reports

Nexis Library Information, 1990-2003.

US State Department Human Rights Report: Kyrgyzstan (2001-2003).

Date(s)         Item

501 - 600       Beginning about 1000 B.C the area of the Kyrgyz state was
                inhabited by large tribes known as Scythians. Around the
                6th century the region was invaded by Kyrgyz tribes who
                played a major role in the development of feudalism. The
                first Kyrgyz state existed from the 6th until the 13th century
                A.D. By the 10th century the state expanded southwestward
                to the eastern and northern regions of present-day
                Kyrgyzstan and westward to the headwaters of the Ertis
                (Irtysg) River in present-day eastern Kazakstan. During this
                period the feudal society of Kyrgyzstan established
                intensive commercial contacts with China, Tibet, Central
                Asia and Persia.

601 - 700       The Kyrgyz Khanate reached its greatest expansion by
                conquering the Uygur Khanate and forcing it out of
                Mongolia, then moving as far south as the Tian Shan range.
                By 12th century Kyrgyz domination shrunk to the region of
                the Sayan Mountains, northwest of present-day Mongolia,
                and the Altay Range on the present-day border of China
                and Mongolia. In the same period, other Kyrgyz tribes


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Date(s)       Item

              moved across a wide area of Central Asia and mingled with
              other ethnic groups.

1001 - 1100   Persian replaced Arabic as standard written language in
              most of Central Asia and remained in official use through
              fifteenth century.

1301 - 1400   Mongols conquered Central Asia, reduced Iranian influence
              and destroyed cultural centers. The son of Chinggis
              (Genghis) Khan conquered the Yenisey Kyrgyz thereby
              establishing a 200 year long Mongol domination. The
              Kyrgyz remained under the Golden Horde and the Oriot
              and Jumgar khanates that succeed the regime.
              Independence was regained in the 16th century. The
              Kyrgyz tribes were overrun by the Kalmyks in the 17th
              century, then by the Manchus in the mid- 18th century, and
              by the Uzbeks in the early 19th century.

1861 - 1870   Jadidist reform movement was founded. The Jadidists were
              supported by Tajiks, Tatars, and Uzbeks. Being
              modernizers and nationalists who viewed Central Asia as a
              whole, they believed that the religious and cultural
              greatness of Islamic civilization had been degraded in the
              Central Asia of their day.

1865 - 1868   Russians established the Guberniya (Governorate General)
              of Turkestan as a central administrative unit. In 1899 it
              included the present-day Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
              Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and southeastern Kazakstan.

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Date(s)       Item

1876          Russians defeated Quqon Khanate and occupied northern
              Kyrgyzstan. Within five years all Kyrgyzstan became a part
              of the Russian empire and the Kyrgyz slowly began to
              integrate themselves into the economic and political life of
              Russia. However, Russian policy did not attempt educating
              the population and most of it retained its traditional life-
              style.

1891 - 1900   Large-scale Russian settlement in Kyrgyzstan and northern
              Kazakstan diminished Kazak and Kyrgyz nomadism.

1900          Jadidism became the first major movement of Central
              Asian political resistence.

1916          A bloody rebellion against Russian land confiscation and
              conscription began in Uzbekistan and then spread into
              Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Turkmenistan. An estimated
              2,000 Slavic settlers and even more local people were
              killed, and the harsh Russian reprisals drove one third of
              the Kyrgyz population to China.

1917          The Bolshevik revolution began the establishment of the
              Soviet state.

1918          The Bolshevik crushed the autonomous government in
              Quqon. Jadidists began a decade-long Basmachi revolt
              involving elements from all five republics.




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Date(s)       Item

1920          The newly established Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet
              Socialist Republic incorporated within itself the areas of
              Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan.

1921          Communists won in the Russian Civil War and reduced the
              power of the Central Asian party branches. In 1924 the
              territory of the present-day Kyrgyzstan was designated as
              the Kara-Kyrghyz Autonomous Region. In 1926 it was
              renamed as the Kyrgyz Autonomous Republic.

1925          The Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Kazak
              ASSR) was separated from Kyrgyz ASSR.

1929 - 1934   Soviet collectivization induced widespread famine in
              Central Asia.

1936          Kyrgyz and Kazak ASSRs were given full republic status in
              the Soviet Union.

1956 - 1964   A campaign of rehabilitation were carried out toward
              Central Asian leaders purged by Stalin leaders.
              Russification remained a prerequisite for party
              advancement.

1985          Michail Gorbachev was elected as first secretary of the
              Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1989          An Uzbek-rights group called Adalat began airing old
              grievances in 1989, demanding that Moscow grant local
              Uzbek autonomy in Osh and consider its annexation by


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Date(s)       Item

              nearby Uzbekistan.

Jun 1989      Clashes between Uzbeks and Meskhetian Turks broke out
              after a disagreement in a market between an Uzbek vendor
              and a Meskhetian buyer. The incident sparked widespread
              violence that spread to several cities in the Fergana valley.
              Around 100 people were killed and 600-800 wounded. The
              victims were mainly Meskhetians and the perpetrators
              mainly Uzbeks. Hundreds of homes and government
              buildings were also burned. Several thousand troops were
              sent in to quell the violence that took place over the course
              of a week. Moscow later evacuated 17,000 Meskhetians.
              They had in recent months been pressuring the government
              to let them return to their homeland in Georgia from which
              they were deported during World War II for fear they
              would support Turkey in the even of an invasion of Russia.
              Moscow then appointed Islam Karimov as first secretary of
              the Communist party of Uzbekistan. (Los Angeles Time,
              6/6/89; BBC, 6/8/89; Toronto Star, 6/12/89 and 6/13/89)

1990 - 1999   The Central Asian states were the scene of several incidents
              of ethnic conflict. Ethnic clashes between the Tajiks and
              Kyrgyz took place nearly every summer over water rights.
              In February 1990, Tajiks and Armenians clashed in
              Tajikistan. Clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz erupted in
              the Fergana valley in June 1990 over land issues. One to
              two hundred people were killed in the latter violent incident
              (The Economist, 9/21/91)

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Date(s)    Item

Mar 1990   350 Deputies were elected to the Kyrgyz Supreme Soviet,
           with an average of 3 candidates contesting every seat. 70
           seats, however, were filled in uncontested elections. The
           situation was much the same at the local level, where
           almost 40% of the seats went uncontested. Though almost
           95% of the Deputies are Communist Party members, many
           have supported President Akayev's political reform
           program.

May 1990   The Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement (KDM) held its
           founding congress. The KDM originally grew as a coalition
           of several different groups generally supporting Kyrgyzstan
           independence and reform. Some groups within the KDM
           split along national lines, and some eventually broke away
           to form separate political parties.

Jun 1990   An ethnic clash has erupted in Osh, an industrial center and
           second largest city of Kyrgyzstan, near the border of
           Uzbekistan, between ethnic Uzbeks and indigenous
           Kyrgyz. According to official reports, over 300 people were
           killed in the pogrom. Soviet forces fired machine guns at a
           crowd of 20,000 Uzbeks in the first incident. A state of
           emergency and a curfew were introduced, and the border
           between Uzbekistan and Kirghizia was closed to traffic.
           Osh is a majority Uzbek area. Troops had fought to prevent
           up to 15,000 Uzbeks armed with weapons from crossing
           into Osh region to join the fighting. According to one
           account in Komsomolskaya Pravda, the trouble was fueled

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Date(s)    Item

           by rival groups' demands for homestead plots in a tract of
           80 acres being released by the government. The allocation
           of the land to Kyrgyz prompted violent protests by local
           Uzbeks who complained that they were not receiving their
           fair share. The conflict was discussed at a meeting in Osh
           between the Prime Ministers of Kyrgyzstan and
           Uzbekistan. The Prime Minister of Uzbekistan denounced
           calls by Uzbek nationalists for the areas of Kirghizia with a
           majority Uzbek population to be declared autonomous or
           even ceded to Uzbekistan. (Keesings, p. 37541, June 1990.)

Oct 1990   The Supreme Soviet elected Askar Akayev, the liberal
           President of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, President of
           the Republic. Akayev quickly allied himself with reformist
           politicians and economists, including leaders of the KDM.

Nov 1990   Askar Akayev defeated the communist incumbent in
           presidential elections and became president of the Republic
           of Kyrgyzstan.

Dec 1990   Despite opposition from the KCP, the parliament voted to
           change the name of the Republic from the Kyrgyz Soviet
           Socialist Republic to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.

Feb 1991   By decision of the Kyrgyz Supreme Soviet, Kyrgyz's
           capital city, Frunze (named after the Red Army commander
           who had conquered much of Central Asia in the Civil War),
           reverted to its pre-1926 name, Bishkek.



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Date(s)    Item

Mar 1991   A Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed
           between the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and the Uzbek SSR in
           the town of Osh. The delegations were headed by the
           Presidents of the two republics. The intention on both sides
           was to move beyond the tensions provoked by last year's
           ethnic conflict between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the region.

Aug 1991   President Akayev left the Communist Party of the Soviet
           Union (CPSU), and the Republic Politburo (Political
           Bureau, or the chief policymaking body of the party). Party
           property was nationalized and its funds frozen. CP
           activities were suspended for 6 months beginning on
           August 30. The next day the Kyrgyz parliament declared
           the country's independence from the USSR.

Oct 1991   In the first popular Kyrgyz presidential election, the sole
           candidate and incumbent, Askar Akayev, was elected with
           95.3% of the vote. Turnout was estimated as 90% of
           eligible voters. Akayev was widely seen as a democrat and
           as eager to cultivate contacts with western countries.

Dec 1991   All five Central Asian republics including Kyrgyzstan
           formally agreed to join the new Commonwealth of
           Independent States (CIS). The Kyrgyz parliament passed a
           Law on the Freedom of Religion and Religious
           Organizations.




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Date(s)    Item

Apr 1992   Leaders of Central Asian states met in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz
           capital. Documents creating structures for the regional
           economy were signed by the delegates, except
           Turkmenistan. Turkish Premier S. Demirel visited the
           Muslim republics of the CIS including Kyrgyzstan.

Jun 1992   Kyrgyzstan signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation
           with Russia.

Jun 1992   Five Central Asian states began taking over former Soviet
           military installations on their territories.

Jul 1992   Kyrgyzstan signed military agreements with Russia.

Aug 1992   A strong earthquake that jostled Central Asia killed at least
           50 people in the remote Susamyr valley in Kyrgyzstan, the
           ITAR-Tass news agency reported. The quake, measuring
           7.5 on the Richter scale, struck in the morning of 19th
           instant with an epicenter about 380 km northeast of
           Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Nov 1992   The Uighurs, an ethnic group distinct from others in the
           region, in Kyrgyzstan attempted to form a party calling for
           the establishment of independent Uighurstan that also
           would include the Chinese-controlled Uighur territory.

Dec 1992   The draft Constitution, adopted by the "Uluk Kenesh" (the
           renamed Supreme Soviet, or parliament) reconfirmed
           Kyrgyz as the state language. It also stipulated that the
           President must have a fluent command of Kyrgyz.


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Date(s)    Item

Jan 1993   According to a study by sociologists at the Bishek
           Polytechnic Institute, only 10% of the Kyrgyz in the Osh
           region favor an Islamic republic, while 25% of the Uzbeks
           favor the same. The Islamic Rebirth Party - the backbone of
           which comprises Uzbeks - was active in the Kyrgyz part of
           the Valley. (BBC, 01/15/93.)

1993       Kyrgyzstan became the first former Soviet republic to leave
           the ruble zone and introduce its own currency.

May 1993   The first Constitution of the free and independent Kyrgyz
           state was adopted On May 5th. In a dramatic break with
           Communist practices, the fundamental idea that man, by
           nature and destiny, was superior to the state, was
           incorporated as the guiding principle in the Constitution.

Dec 1993   President Akayev dismissed the government headed by
           Prime Minister Chyngyshev after it failed to win a
           parliamentary vote of confidence over a scandal of illegal
           gold exports.

Dec 1993   US Vice-President Al Gore described his visit to
           Kyrgyzstan as "an expression of the active support by the
           American administration for the policy of Askar Akayev."
           (Keesings, 12/93.)

1994       Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan established a
           limited common market.




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Date(s)        Item

Apr 1994       Max van der Stoel, CSCE High Commissioner for Minority
               Affairs, had a meeting with President Akayev in Bishek.
               Van der Stoel and President Akayev discussed matters
               related to ethnic minorities in Kyrgyzstan.

May 1 -        Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Jul 31, 1994   joined NATO’s initiative, Partnership for Peace.

Sep 1994       Kyrgyz government resigned and parliament was dissolved.

Oct 22, 1994   In a referendum, Kyrgyz voters strongly backed the
               introduction of a bicameral legislature.

Jan 5, 1995    A national census determined that the percentage of the
               population of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan had risen from 12.9%
               in 1991 to 13.9% in 1994. This rise was attributed to the
               mass emigration of ethnic Russians from Kyrgyzstan since
               the country declared its independence.

Feb 1995       A new 105 member parliament was elected in two rounds
               of voting. A disproportionally low number of ethnic
               Uzbeks were elected to serve in this parliament.

Mar 1995       The State Department reported that ethnic Uzbeks had
               complained of discrimination by Kyrgyz government
               officials.

Apr 21, 1995   The newly formed cabinet included one ethnic Uzbek.




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Date(s)        Item

Jul 18, 1995   TASS reported that the Kyrgyz government was supporting
               Uzbek-language instruction at institutions of higher
               education.

Oct 7, 1995    The BBC reported that the state of emergency imposed on
               the Uzbek-populated Osh region in 1990 had been lifted.

Dec 24, 1995   President Akayev won in the first contested Presidential
               elections in Kyrgyzstan.

Feb 1996       Akayev extended his presidential powers in a referendum.

Feb 1996       Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan signed an extended customs
               union agreement with Belarus and Russia.

Feb 1996       Government resigned following the approval of Akayev
               administrative appointments.

Mar 1996       Akayev named a new cabinet headed by Apas Jumagulov.

Mar 1996       Kyrgyzstan banned Ittipak, a Uygur separatist movement.

Mar 1996       Following substantial pressure from Russia, the Kyrgyz
               parliament adopted a resolution making Russian, along with
               Kyrgyz, an official state language.

Aug 1996       The Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan
               signed an accord for the creation of a single economic
               market by the year 1998.




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Date(s)        Item

Jan 1997       At a meeting of the Central Asian Economic Union,
               Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan signed a mutual
               defense treaty and discussed mutual convertibility of
               currencies.

Jan 1997       Topchubek Turgunaligev, head of the opposition Erkin
               Party in Kyrgyzstan, was sentenced to prison for
               embezzlement as political repression tightened.

Feb 1997       The State Department reported that like any other minority
               in Kyrgyzstan, the ethnic Uzbeks suffered discrimination in
               hiring, promotion and housing. The ethnic Uzbeks,
               officially designated as a Russian speaking minority,
               complained that government officials at all levels favored
               the ethnic Kyrgyz. The State Department noted that the
               predominance of ethnic Kyrgyz in government offices lent
               weight to this claim. (US Department of State)

Mar 1997       Kyrgyzstan extended the mandate for the presence of
               Russian border troops through the end of 1997.

Sep 1997       Forces of the United States joined troops of Kyrgyzstan,
               Kazakstan, Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan in peacekeeping
               exercise in south-central Kazakstan.

Feb 23, 1998   Muslim scholars and leaders of the countries of Central
               Asia and the Caucasus, who gathered at their first meeting
               after the collapse of communism, called on the Islamic
               people to show unity and solidarity. The religious leaders


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Date(s)        Item

               said it was their duty to oppose propaganda movements
               which developed the ideas of atheism and renunciation of
               religion. (BBC)

Feb 27, 1998   Khimatulla Tursunov, the Uzbek Defense Minister
               announced that regular exercises of the Central Asian
               peace-keeping battalion would be held in Uzbekistan and
               Kyrgyzstan in September, 1998. The exercises, said the
               minister, would be attended by contingents of the countries
               which had participated in the last year. (ITAR-TASS)

Mar 5, 1998    Foreign ministers of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
               discussed at a meeting in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, the
               threat of Islamic extremism in the region. The ministers
               also discussed the issues of "preserving a secular state" in
               Tajikistan and combating arms and drugs smuggling.
               Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov observed
               without going into detail that certain countries supported
               extremist activities in Central Asia.(BBC)

May 9, 1998    Uzbek President Karimov told a news conference that
               Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan and Russia had planned an Uzbek-
               Russian-Tajik Agreement to resist the threat posed by
               Islamic states in Central Asia. (BBC) Karimov attributed
               the need for the alliance to the spread of the extremist wing
               of the Islamic fundamentalism, known as Wahhabism, in
               Central Asia and the Caucasus. According to Karimov,
               Wahhabites aimed to come to power and set up Islamic


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               states wherever possible. He explained that the spread of
               Wahhabism posed a threat to the territories of both
               Uzbekistan and Russia. (Moscow News, 14 May 1998)

May 14, 1998   It was reported that Kyrgyzstan would join the anti-
               fundamentalist pact of Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan,
               on the level of the national security ministers. The move
               corresponded to the norms of the Kyrgyz internal
               legislation: the Kyrgyz constitution prohibits religious
               activities which pursue political objectives.(Moscow News)

May 15, 1998   On the occasion of the appearance of Wahhabi missionaries
               in the republic, presidential spokesman Kanybek
               Imanaliyev said that Kyrgyzstan would “act to stop any
               expression of religious extremism and terrorism”.(BBC)

Jun 16, 1998   Security forces in Kyrgyzstan arrested four people on
               suspicion of involvement in two explosions in the southern
               town of Osh at the end of May which had killed four people
               and injured 11 others. Members of the "Wahhabi" sect, a
               conservative brand of Sunni Islam containing Kyrgyz and
               Uzbeks, were believed to have been behind the two
               explosions. (BBC)

Aug 13, 1998   The Russian Defense Minister, Mr. Igor Sergeyev, said, he
               would meet his counterparts from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
               and Kyrgyzstan to discuss the increasingly complicated
               situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban advancement
               towards Russia’s border. (FT Asia Intelligence Wire)

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Oct 16, 1998   On the night of October 10, officials of the National
               Security Ministry's Osh Department confiscated more than
               700 tons of smuggled military hardware in southern
               Kyrgyzstan. The materials reportedly originated in the town
               of Meshkhed in Iran. According to documents, the military
               hardware was disguised as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
               Iran had declared an open war on the Taliban and it desired
               to support the Taliban's enemies Generals Rashid Dustum
               and Akhmad Shakh Masud. Iran was compelled to choose a
               roundabout route for the hardware. (Agency WPS)

Jan 7, 1999    The first congress of veterans of the war in Afghanistan and
               other local conflicts was held in Bishkek. The goals of the
               congress were to promote reform within the Kyrgyz army,
               combat corruption in the government and military, and
               assist veterans of the wars and their families (BBC).

Feb 8, 1999    A spokesman of Uzbek Foreign Minister Bakhadyr
               Umarov, announced that Uzbekistan would leave the CIS
               Collective Security Treaty because the latter did not meet
               the demands of the time and it did not perform its
               designated functions. In addition, the spokesman said,
               Tashkent did not agree with Russian military activity in
               some CIS countries. Russian activities in Armenia and
               Tajikistan were in particular disliked by Uzbekistan as they
               helped to promote Russian interests in regions of interest to
               Uzbekistan.(Agency WPS)



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Feb 23, 1999   Interviewed at Tashkent airport before his departure for a
               summit with the presidents of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
               in the Kazakh capital, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said
               that Uzbekistan's neighbors were milking Uzbek supplies of
               food and goods. He said that 5,000 people traveled every
               day from the southern Kyrgyz town of Osh into eastern
               Uzbekistan, buying up goods and taking them back to
               Kyrgyzstan. (BBC)

Mar 15, 1999   Deputies of the Kyrgyz parliament were seriously worried
               about the tense situation on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border after
               acts of terrorism had taken place in Tashkent, the Uzbek
               capital. The deputies maintained that ethnic relations had
               seriously deteriorated in the Fergana Valley. Kyrgyz
               deputies demanded that troops be stationed on the Uzbek-
               Kyrgyz border, or the neighbors would be cut off from the
               water supply. Meanwhile, members of Asaba, the
               nationalist party in Kyrgyzstan, adopted a resolution
               according to which Uzbekistan must return all land that had
               been transferred to that republic under the Soviet rule.
               (Agency WPS)

Mar 18, 1999   Deputies of the standing chamber of the Kyrgyz Legislative
               Assembly launched a sharp attack on the government,
               which had allocated 22,000 tonnes of wheat from the state
               reserves to pay for the debt from supplied natural gas owed
               to Uzbekistan . The head of the Kyrgyzgaz, Sagyn
               Aynakulov, was also criticized for supplying flour to

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               Uzbekistan at 220 dollars for one tonne, which was $100
               dollars less than the world prices. (BBC)

May 9, 1999    Iranian radio from Mashhad carried an appeal from the
               Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to the parliaments of
               Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan asking them not to extradite to
               Uzbekistan Muslims seeking "a last refuge" in their
               countries. The appeal, signed by the chairman of the
               Political Department of the Islamic Movement of
               Uzbekistan, identified as Zubayr ibn Abdurahim, said that
               under the "the tyrannical, despotic and dictatorial policy
               carried out by Uzbekistan's government", innocent people
               were persecuted "only because they were Muslims". "We
               state firmly", the appeal concluded, "that our only enemy is
               the ruthless regime of Uzbekistan's dictator."(BBC)

May 20, 1999   Six CIS countries- Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
               Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - confirmed their adherence to
               the Collective Security Treaty. The CIS Collective Security
               Treaty had been signed in Tashkent on May 15, 1992 by
               nine countries, the six above and Azerbaijan, Georgia and
               Uzbekistan.(Iterfax Russian News)

Aug 1999       It was reported that on August 21st, armed Islamists
               crossed into southern Kyrgyzstan from their bases in
               Tajikistan, took about a dozen hostages and demanded to be
               allowed to enter Uzbekistan. Many of the militants, like
               their leader, Juma Namangani, were Uzbeks from the


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               Fergana Valley, who had fled to Tajikistan during the break
               up of the Soviet Union in the hope of escaping religious
               and political persecution. Mr Namangani’s group had ties
               with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a
               shadowy organization whose spiritual leader, Tohir
               Yoldosh, operated from a base in the Taliban-controlled
               Afghanistan. In Tajikistan, Mr Namangani’s men had
               fought alongside the Islamist opposition during the 1992-
               1997 civil war. They were also alleged to have trained
               guerrillas for operations inside Uzbekistan. But, as the UN-
               sponsored peace process matured, the Tajik Islamists, who
               had accepted a 30% share in government, decided that
               sheltering armed Uzbeks was increasingly at odds with
               their political objectives. The break into Kyrgyzstan with
               the intent to stage a rebellion in Uzbekistan was a first
               attempt of Mr.Namangani’s followers to find their place in
               the post-war politics of Central Asia. It supported the
               IMU’s claim that the group in Kyrgyzstan was the
               vanguard of a new jihad or holy war against the Uzbek
               regime. (The Economist Newspaper Ltd : 4 September
               1999)

Aug 22, 1999   Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan carried out a joint military
               operation to flush out a group of 21 fighters from a remote
               mountainous region of Kyrgyzstan about 15 kilometers
               (eight miles) from the Tajik border. The operation backfired
               when Tajikistan accused Uzbek bombers of straying over


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               into its territory in a dawn raid. Following a series of
               official denials, Uzbek President Islam Karimov finally
               admitted that his air force might have dropped bombs on
               Tajikistan in its attempt to "liquidate" the rebel group.
               Uzbekistan had claimed that eastern Tajikistan was home to
               secret training camps for Moslem fighters who were trying
               to overthrow Karimov and set up an Islamic state in Central
               Asia. (Agence France Presse)

Aug 28, 1999   The government of Kyrgyzstan sent 2,000 reserve soldiers
               to the southern part of the country to help fight Moslem
               rebels. President Askar Askayev ordered a partial
               mobilization. The government asked Russia to help fight
               the rebels. The rebels’ numbers were estimated at up to
               1,600. (Deutsche Presse Agentur)

Aug 29, 1999   The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) released a
               statement which said that protection of Muslims and the
               defense of Islam were the movement’s basic goals. The
               statement said the movement would continue its struggle to
               free the 50,000 Muslims currently kept in Uzbekistan’s
               prisons. The statement also said that the establishment of an
               Islamic state and Koranic rule in Uzbekistan was only
               possible by jihad or a holy war against the regime in
               Tashkent. The movement warned the Uzbek government
               that in order to avoid mass destruction in the republic and
               bloodshed among innocent people, the government must
               abandon its policy of violence. In another part of this

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               statement, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan demanded
               that other countries of the Central Asian region
               immediately stop their assistance to the Tashkent
               government.(BBC)

Aug 30, 1999   The heads of defense and national security of the republics
               of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan held
               a meeting on 28 August in the city of Osh, southern
               Kyrgyzstan. Opinions were exchanged on the deteriorating
               situation taking shape in the south of Kyrgyzstan which
               began with the kidnapping of foreign and Kyrgyz nationals
               on 21 August. (BBC)

Aug 31, 1999   In a 10-minute address to the nation broadcast on Kyrgyz
               radio, President Akayev called upon his people to remain
               calm over the hostage crisis unfolding in Batken District of
               Osh Region. He said the crisis was a manifestation of "the
               internationalization of both terrorism and extremism".
               Akayev said Kyrgyzstan had "the firm, unambiguous and
               stable political support" of the leaders and peoples of
               Kazakhstan, Tajikstan and Uzbekistan, countries which had
               pledged to "undertake joint and coordinated efforts to
               counteract international terrorism." He gave assurances that
               "any actions undermining the stability in the country and
               region will be resolutely stopped". (BBC)




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Sep 3, 1999   Kyrgyz Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev announced that
              his government was negotiating with a third party for the
              release of hostages, including four Japanese mining
              engineers, held by rebels in southern Kyrgyzstan. Silaev
              stopped short of singling out a country and naming the
              contact that his government had approached, but he
              appeared to be referring to the Taliban, an Islamic
              fundamentalist group in Afghanistan, which supported the
              rebels. Silaev also said that resolution of the conflict and
              the release of the hostages were inseparable, and he
              expressed hope that the problem would be settled by the
              winter. Meanwhile, in an interview with BBC, a man
              claiming to be a leader of the Islamic Movement of
              Uzbekistan, which was believed to be responsible for the
              kidnapping said that the purpose of the abduction was to
              exchange the hostages for political prisoners in Uzbekistan.
              (The Daily Yomiuri)

Sep 4, 1999   Islamic guerrillas demanded the release of 50,000 political
              prisoners in Uzbekistan in exchange for freeing their
              hostages. In a statement faxed to the presidential office of
              Kyrgyzstan, the rebels declared a Jihad (a holy war) against
              the Uzbek government led by President Islam Karimov
              with a view to constructing an Islamic state in Uzbekistan.
              (Jiji Press Ticker Service)




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Sep 7, 1999   A member of the Uzbek opposition told Iranian radio that
              the armed rebels in Kyrgyzstan were Uzbeks fighting for
              greater freedom of conscience and democracy in
              Uzbekistan. He said that Uzbekistan no longer enjoyed
              good relations with Russia or any of the countries of
              Central Asia. (BBC)

Sep 8, 1999   The Uzbek defense minister said Uzbekistan had alerted its
              armed forces as a result of the events occurring in
              neighboring Kyrgyzstan. The Uzbek government had
              tightened border controls on the order of President Islam
              Karimov.(Interfax News Agency)

Sep 8, 1999   Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan tried to
              isolate Islamic militants in the mountains and prevent them
              from breaking through into the Fegrana Valley in
              Uzbekistan. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan sent additional units
              and armored vehicles to their borders with Kyrgyzstan to
              prevent the invaders from escaping. Ground-strafers were
              sent after the terrorists. Uzbek aircraft bombed the Kyrgyz
              village of Kara-Teit. Sporadic skirmishes between the
              invaders and government troopers were reported. (Agency
              WPS Defense and Security) While all three Central Asian
              states were affected by the terrorist acts it was only
              Kyrgyzstan that was faced with a fait accompli. This
              occurred at a time when Bishkek did not have the strength
              to counter on its own the attacks by the rebel opposition to
              the Uzbek government. Bishkek had hoped that Russia

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               would assist it in fighting the Uzbek guerrillas. However,
               according to political observers, Russia was not pleased
               with Uzbekistan's policy of drawing closer to the West and
               did not have much interest in being involved in direct
               clashes with the opposition to the government of Uzbek
               President Islam Karimov. (9 September 1999, BBC)

Sep 8, 1999    Bishkek announced that a corridor for the Mujaheddins
               would not be provided and that the operation aimed at their
               extermination would continue. For the time being the
               invaders controlled several villages. More than 4,000
               refugees were fleeing villages taken by the
               invaders.(Agency WPS Defense and Security)

Sep 9, 1999    The Islamic opposition to the government of Uzbekistan in
               Kyrgyzstan announced in a statement that if the Kyrgyz
               government did not respond to their demands, they would
               announce a jihad against the republic’s government. The
               fact that the first Russian military aircraft crew arrived in
               Kyrgyzstan to fight the Uzbek rebels had made the Islamic
               forces of Uzbekistan react against the Bishkek government.
               Not a single Central Asian state had been able to head the
               operations to clear up the crisis.(BBC)

Sep 19, 1999   A senior Kyrgyz government official predicted that
               unofficial negotiations with Islamic guerrillas aimed at
               freeing 17 hostages including four Japanese might not bear
               fruit. The guerrillas, believed to be Uzbek rebels, had


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               proposed talks in either Pakistan or Afghanistan, on the
               four-week-old hostage crisis. The official said the aim of
               the guerrillas was "to gain international approval for their
               status as an Uzbek opposition force". Sources indicated that
               the guerrillas were hoping to hold official talks with the
               Kyrgyz government. The Kyrgyz government, refusing to
               meet the rebels directly, was pursuing unofficial
               negotiations as a way to secure the hostages' release. (Japan
               Economic Newswire)

Sep 25, 1999   The lower chamber of the Kyrgyz Supreme Council may
               enter negotiations with the guerrillas, believed to be Uzbek
               rebels, in a third country. Sources said the location of the
               talks was unknown but hinted it might be in Afghanistan or
               Pakistan. They added, in return for the hostages' release, the
               guerrillas would likely reiterate their demands that the
               Kyrgyz government provide them with safe passage to
               neighboring Uzbekistan and recognize them as an
               opposition force against the Uzbek government.
               Meanwhile, a Kyrgyz military official said an internal
               dispute had split the guerrillas into two groups. The dispute
               was apparently over the share of ransom money received
               from the Kyrgyz government in a separate hostage incident.
               Another theory said that guerrilla leaders criticized the
               faction for not exchanging the hostages for their comrades
               imprisoned in Uzbekistan. (Japan Economic Newswire)



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Oct 2, 1999   Addressing the crisis in Central Asia, the heads of the states
              of Armenia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan,
              Kyrgyzia and Uzbekistan called for "immediate joint
              measures to provide necessary assistance to
              Kyrgyzia."(Itar-Tass News Agency) Uzbek President Islam
              Karimov visited eastern Fergana valley to inspect security
              measures taken by Uzbek border troops. Karimov said, all
              mobilization work had been accomplished. He called for
              Kyrgyzstan to demonstrate greater urgency and
              resoluteness in combating the militants who seized hostages
              in southern Kyrgyzstan in August. (BBC)

Oct 3, 1999   Government troops closed in on guerrillas near their main
              base in the mountain village of Zardaly. Tajikistan also
              reinforced its border with Kyrgyzstan. (BBC)

Oct 4, 1999   Islamic militants attacked a village in eastern Uzbekistan.
              (BBC)

Oct 6, 1999   Uzbekistan was reported to have bombed regions near
              Tajikistan's border with Kyrgyzstan. "The military
              measures taken by the Uzbek side could have a negative
              effect on the political situation and do not comply with the
              fundamental principles of mutual understanding and good-
              neighborliness between the two states," a diplomat told
              Interfax, citing a Tajik government note of protest sent to
              the Uzbek Foreign Affairs Ministry. (Interfax Russian
              News)


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Oct 8, 1999    Interior ministers from the Commonwealth of Independent
               States (CIS) announced the creation of a joint anti-terrorist
               center. The body was intended to coordinate the fight
               against Islamic rebels currently operating in parts of Russia,
               and in the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
               and Kyrgyzstan. (Agence France Presse)

Oct 9, 1999    Col G. Omorov, the chief of the press center of the joint
               group of troops in southern Kyrgyzstan, reported that the
               command of the troops had received a fax message from
               one of the leaders of the militants, Zubair ibn
               Abdurrakhman, in which a number of proposals and
               conditions to settle the conflict had been stated. The
               proposals were being investigated by the leadership of the
               Defense Ministry headquarters and the secretariat of the
               Security Council of Kyrgyzstan. The text and content of the
               document had not been made public.(BBC)

Oct 11, 1999   Islamic gunmen who invaded Kyrgyzstan in August
               reportedly retreated to the mountains of Tajikistan.
               Officials said all but about 100 rebels had left the republic,
               but there was no word about the four Japanese and 1
               Kyrgyz general, and several others who had been taken
               hostage. The rebels had intended to mount a rebellion
               against Uzbek President Islam Karimov. (Deutsche Press
               Agentur).




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Oct 13, 1999   Four policemen taken hostage in August were freed at the
               border with Tajikistan, but others remained in the custody
               of the rebels. Government troops fully liberated the
               Khodzha-Achkan gorge, Batken District, the last rebel-held
               area in southern Krygyzstan. (BBC)

Oct 15, 1999   The leader of the United Tajik Opposition, Sayed Abdullo
               Nuri, said he would boycott elections scheduled for
               November unless “more favorable conditions” were
               guaranteed. He urged the authorities to convene an
               extraordinary session of the Supreme Assembly to postpone
               elections so that better preparations for their transparency
               could be implemented. Further, he stated that his
               organization wanted the Uzbek opposition to leave
               Tajikistan, resolve their disagreements with the Uzbek
               government and not to take the domestic problems of
               Uzbekistan to Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan (BBC).

Oct 15 -       After days of contradictory reports on their status, it was
31, 1999       confirmed that four Japanese geologists, a Kyrgyz general,
               and two soldiers were freed by their rebel captors. They
               were reportedly exchanged at the Kyrgyz-Tajik border for
               several rebels captured by Krygyz forces in recent fighting.
               There were also unconfirmed reports that a ransom was
               paid for their release. (Deutsche Press Agentur)




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Oct 25, 1999   The Kyrgyzstan government announced that it needed help
               in strengthening its borders. (BBC) The total number of
               people killed in the conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan
               between August and October was 26. All government
               troops involved in the fighting against the guerrilla group
               which invaded were being withdrawn from the region.
               (BBC)

Oct 26, 1999   Russian Prime Minister Putin pledged to help Kyrgyzstan
               fight terrorism. (BBC)

Nov 10, 1999   In elections in Tajikistan, President Enomali Rakhmonov
               was reelected with over 90% of the vote. He is seen in the
               region and elsewhere as too dependent on Russia.

Nov 13, 1999   Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan signed a protocol on
               establishing diplomatic and consular relations. (BBC)

Nov 16, 1999   The Kyrgyz Security Ministry announced plans to set up a
               subdivision to fight terrorism. (BBC)

Dec 4, 1999    President Askar Akayev spoke in favor of backing anti-
               separatist initiatives in the region. He was speaking at a
               meeting of the heads of law enforcement agencies and
               special services of the 5 Shanghai states (Russia, China,
               Kazakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan). (BBC)

Dec 29, 1999   Members of Kyrgyzstan’s Uighur community called on
               China to end human rights violations in the Xinjiang-
               Uighur Autonomous Region.


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Jan 5, 2000       Defense Minister Esen Topoyev told the press that special
                  attention would be given to the security of Kyrgyzstan’s
                  border in 2000. He said three border detachments and 23
                  border posts were established on the border with Tajikistan.
                  (BBC)




Internal File: Kyrgyzstan(Uzbeks)AtRisk




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