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Tajikistan: National Reconciliation Commission Ready To Work

Dushanbe, 20 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The head of the Russian mission in Dushanbe, Maksim Peshkov, says Tajikistan's 26-member National Reconciliation Commission will begin its work in the Tajik capital before the end of this month.

The commission is provided for in a two-month old peace treaty signed in Moscow with the Tajik government.

Peshkov says chief of staff of the opposition forces Davlat Usmon, together with a group of experts from Dushanbe, will officially accept two buildings for housing an opposition battalion and commission personnel over the next few days.

The first group of 260 opposition supporters will be moved to Dushanbe from Tavildara, 180 kilometers east of the capital. Peskhov told Interfax that United Tajik opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri is prepared to arrive in Dushanbe and begin work without waiting for the remaining 200 troops to be moved to Tajikistan from Afghanistan.

The peace treaty calls for a new parliament before the end of next year and for Islamic fighters to either integrate with government forces or lay down their arms. Dissatisfaction with the accord appears to have been one of the reasons for a rebellion last week by Tajik Colonel Makhmud Khudoberdiyev, whose 1,500-man brigade was routed by government troops yesterday after several days of fighting. His whereabouts remain unclear.