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Kazakh Report: April 5, 2000


5 April 2000

OFFICIAL CONNECTED TO MIG SCANDAL APPOINTED AS DEPUTY MINISTER.
Nurtay Abykayev, former chief of the National Security Committee who resigned over the scandal involving the illegal sale of Mig jet fighters to North Korea, has been appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Several officials including former Defense Minister resigned last August over the scandal.

LEADER OF WORKERS MOVEMENT OF KAZAKHSTAN HELD PRESS CONFERENCE.
Madel Ismailov, leader of the Workers Movement of Kazakhstan, held a press conference on 5 April on the results of his recent visit to the US. He talked about his meeting at the US State Department and meetings with representatives of the American workers movement.

He also talked about his movement's plan to hold its congress. RFE/RL correspondent quoted him as saying that the congress could be held in Russia because some obstacles in Kazakhstan.

UZBEK TV BROADCASTING IN SOUTHERN KAZAKHSTAN CUT IN HALF.
RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty reports that Uzbek State TV rebroadcasting time in the Southern regions of Kazakhstan has been reduced from eight to four hours According to the official explanation, the reason for this move is Uzbekistan's rebroadcasting debt.

STATE SECRETARY MET SLOVENIA'S AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN.
Kazakh State Secretary Abish Kelibayev met the new ambassador of Slovenia to Kazakhstan, Mr. Dusan Snoy, on 5 April. According to the official report, Slovenia's new ambassador handed his credentials to State Secretary.

RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS FOUND BY UZBEK BORDER GUARDS ABOARD IRANIAN TRUCK.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote local mass media as reporting that 10 boxes with highly radioactive materials were found by Uzbek border guards aboard an Iranian truck heading to Pakistan from Kazakh territory. The truck was stopped by Uzbek border guards on the Kazakh-Uzbek border on April 3. It turned out that the truck had been loaded by a private Kazakh company in Shymkent, South Kazakhstan Oblast.

Meanwhile, hundreds of local inhabitants in the Saryaghash region of South Kazakhstan continue demonstrations of protests demanding all the border demarcation work along the Kazakh-Uzbek border to be stopped. Uzbeks started demarcating the border without any preliminary consultations with Kazakh officials earlier this year.

Correspondents of RFE/RL also report that starting April 1, all foreigners visiting or living in Uzbekistan will have to pay all bills in hard currency.

WORKERS OF ELECTROPRIBOR PLANT IN ALMATY PROTEST.
According to information provided by correspondents of RFE/RL, workers of Electropribor Plant in Almaty are continuingtheir strike which started on Monday, April 3. There workers are demanding their overdue salaries to be paid off. Electropibor Plant used to be one of the main producers of electrical devices during the Soviet period.

VICE-PRESIDENT OF CHINESE NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION HELD PRESS CONFERENCE IN ALMATY.
U Yaobin � Vice-President of the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) held a press conference at Almaty's National Club on April 3. Mister U told journalists that all the misunderstandings at Aqtobe-Munaygaz Oil complex in North West Kazakhstan would be solved in the nearest future. CNPC has owned 60 per cent of Aqtobe-Munaygaz's shares since 1998. About 2000 Kazakh workers were fired by CNPC last year. All the workers who were fired are demanding that their jobs to be returned or financial compensations be paid by CNPC.

RESIDENTS OF APARTMENT BLOCKS ON TOLEBAYEV - QABANBAY-BATYR STREET INTERSECTION PROTEST DECISION TO BUILD NIGHT CLUB IN THE AREA.
Hundreds of residents from apartment blocks situated on the Tolebayev-Qabanbay-Batyr street intersection started a demonstration of protest on April 4. The demonstrators demand that the decision by local authorities to build a night club in the area or to use the building of the Children's House for that purpose to be annulled. They say that the area is densely populated and there will be no space for children if the new Night club starts operating there.

ALTYN-ORDA NEWSPAPER HARSHLY CRITICIZES SOME INDEPENDENT MASS MEDIA.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that "Altyn Orda" newspaper, in its latest issue, attacked such independent newspapers of Kazakhstan as "Soldat" and "21 Vek" accusing them of having been "biased and pro-Kazhegeldin", adding that the former Premier, now a leader of the Republican People Party - Mr. Akezhan Kazhegeldin - support the two newspapers financially. Mr. Kazhegeldin has to lead his party from exile. "Altyn Orda" Newspaper is financially supported by the Otan Party led by another former Premier of Kazakhstan, Sergey Tereschenko. Otan party was created on 1999 right after the early presidential elections, by members of Nazarbayev's support group.

LOCAL CITIZENS HELD MASS GATHERING ON KAZAKH-UZBEK FRONTIER.
RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty report that more than 200 Kazakh citizens, residents of Sary-Aghash district of Southern Kazakhstan Oblast, held a mass gathering on the Kazakh-Uzbek border last Friday. They protested the construction of a new customs points from Uzbek side of the border. A road connecting some villages in Southern Kazakhstan crosses the border several times and, this causes a problem for local residents when they must go through customs control each time.

RFE/RL correspondent quoting Habar agency journalist reported from the scene. According to the report, officials from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan met on that issue, and the Uzbek side agreed to postpone the construction of the custom points.

ETHNIC KAZAKHS OF SARATOV OBLAST OF RUSSIA HELD THEIR FORUM.
Ethnic Kazakh residents of the Saratov Oblast of the Russian Federation held their Forum in Alexandrov Gai town, near the Kazakh-Russian border, RFE/RL correspondents said quoting the Itar-Tass agency.

Lyubov Sklizka, deputy Chairwoman of the Russian Parliament; Ramazan Abdulatipov, Russian Minister; and Qabibolla Zhaqypov, governor of the Western Kazakhstan Oblast attended the Forum. Participants of the Forum addressed a letter to all ethnic Kazakhs living on the territory of Russian Federation.

NATONAL PIPELINE COMPANY INCREASED TRANSPORTATION TARIFFS.
KazTransOil, the National Oil Pipeline Company, increased the tariff for oil transportation to 58 per cent beginning April 1st. Prices for oil on the local market are expected to go up, despite the fact that the prices for oil on the international market went down after OPEC's latest decision.

NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS DISCUSSING A DRAFT "LAND LAW".
The Zhangyru movement held its session to discuss a draft "Land Law". They expressed their concern over the possible quick privatization of the land in Kazakhstan.

Leader of the movement Dauren Satybaldiev in his interview to RFE/RL said that a new movement "For the sake of land sacrifice your life" is about to be founded.

In the same report, RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty quote an unofficial source that there is a plan for a new administrative-territorial division of Kazakhstan. The report says that all the current 14 Oblasts are going to be dissolved and 5 new Aymaqs, or Regions will be founded. These would be: Western Kazakhstan Aymaq with current Atyrau, Oral, Mangystau and Aqtobe Oblasts; South Kazakhstan Aymaq with current Qyzyl-Orda, Zhambyl, Southern Kazakhstan Oblasts and some districts of current Almaty and former Taldy-Qorghan Oblasts; Eastern Kazakhstan Aymaq with the other part of former Taldy-Qorghan Oblast, former Semey and Eastern Kazakhstan Oblasts and Pavlodar Oblast; Nothern Kazakhstan Aymaq with Kokshetau, Qostanay and current North Kazakhstan Oblasts; and Central Kazakhstan Aymaq with Aqmola, Qaraghandy, Zhezkazghan and Torghay Oblasts.

RFE/RL correspondent quoting the same source said that President Nursultan Nazarbayev offered former Prime Minister and current opposition leader Akezhan Kazhegeldin a chance to govern the future Eastern Kazakhstan Aymaq.

DEFENSE MINISTERS OF CHINA, KAZAKHSTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, RUSSIA AND TAJIKISTAN MET IN ASTANA.
On March 30, the Defense Ministers of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation and Tajikistan held talks in the Kazakh capital. Generals Chi Haotian (China), Sat Toqpaqbayev (Kazakhstan), Esen Topoyev (Kyrgyzstan), Marshall Igor Sergeyev (Russia) and General Sherali Khairullayev (Tajikistan) discussed further cooperation between the states they represented, also known as members of so-called Shanghai-5 group. The group was created after the collapse of the Soviet Union. All the former Soviet Republics bordering with People's Republic of China and Beijing established the working group in order to regularize borders between the newly independent states appeared on the world's map in 1991 and China. Defense Ministers signed a joint communiqu� in the end of their talks reportedly. The sides expressed readiness for mutual cooperation and joint efforts in fight against regional terrorism, extremism and national separatism. Also all the Shanghai-5 member states' Defense Ministers agreed to continue joint measures on strengthening regional nuclear security. President Nursultan Nazarbayev told journalist at the press conference held afterwards, that next month Interior Ministers and Chiefs of Special services of the five countries would meet in Moscow, Russia. Foreign Ministers of Shanghai-5 countries will hold negotiations in April as well, in order to define the agenda of the 5 countries' leaders. The date of the Presidents' summit was not announced.

APARTMENT DOORS OF OPPOSITION FIGURES PAINTED AND VANDALIZED.
Doors of apartments belonging to several opposition figures were painted by unknown persons the night of 29 March. Also telephone lines connected to the apartments were torn off and graffiti badmouthing the owners of the apartments appeared on the walls and doors. Leader of Orleu movement - Seidakhmet Quttyqadam told correspondents of RFE/RL on March 30 that his apartment's door had been vandalized in such a way. He also said that apartments of Nurbolat Masanov and Amirzhan Qosanov, known as leaders of Republican People Party, were also painted and oiled. Very vulgar words blaming the owners of the apartments were written on the walls of the apartment blocks' corridors. According to Mr. Quttyqadam the vandalism actions were politically motivated.

REPUBLICAN PEOPLE PARTY HELD MASS GATHERING IN ALMATY.
On March 30, leaders and activists of the Republican People Party held a mass gathering in Choqan Ualikhanov square of Almaty. The demonstration was sanctioned by the Almaty City administration. Activists of Republican People Party and several other organizations and movements united by so-called Forum of Kazakhstan's Democratic Forces, demanded the Kazakh government to hold National Dialogue with NGOs and opposition parties. Also introduction of amendments to Kazakh law on elections was demanded. The gathered people also expressed their negative attitude to the idea of land's privatization.

AL-FARABI UNIVERSITY AND OSCE OFFICE I ALMATY HELD ROUND TABLE.
On March 29, officials of OSCE's office in Almaty met with teachers and students of Kazakh State University of Al-Farabi and discussed the issue of Central Asian regional security. Chief of OSCE's office in Almaty told the University staff that the issue of the regional security and stability was of the most importance for all the Central Asian states, adding that OSCE had the situation of the regional security in Central Asia in its focus. He also said that OSCE would start paying more attention to the problem of Kazakh-Uzbek border definition.

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