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Tajikistan: Russian, CIS Troops Will Not Join In Tajik Conflict

Dushanbe, August 7 (RFE/RL) -- Russian troops will not be involved in the conflict between the Tajik government and its opposition, Mecheslav Senkevich, Russia's ambassador to Tajikistan, told a news conference today after meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov.

Some 25,000 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) troops--mainly Russian borderguards under Russian command--are in Tajikistan to help the hard-line Rakhmonov government, which is guarding the borders with Afghanistan where opposition fighters have their bases after the end of a bloody civil war in 1992.

Senkevich said that most countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are in favor of extending the mandate of joint peacekeeping forces in Tajikistan.

AccordiAug 8 20:13:25 afpd[9577]: afp_enumerate: stat BBBB.HTML: No such file or directory ng to the commander of the joint CIS peacekeeping force, Viktor Zavarzin, who also met with Rakhmonov, the Tajik president said he supports the peacekeepers' presence in the region, because they are "guarantors of peace there."

Sporadic fighting is reported to be continuing in Tajikistan, particularly in the eastern Tavildara region, despite a recent UN-sponsored ceasefire signed in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat.