Sunday 28 November 2004
November 25, 2004
Central Asia: Political Opposition (Part 2) -- Kazakh Opposition Seeks Real Political Power
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev Kazakhstan's political opposition has long been an inspiration for other Central Asian opposition movements. Major Kazakh opposition groups are financially self-sufficient and less repressed than those in other Central Asian states. But now, the Kazakh opposition is hungry for real political power. Some of their leaders are known as "young wolves" -- former officials and managers under the age of 40 were brought up under President Nursultan Nazarbaev's wings. Discontent with Nazarbaev's authoritative policies and disillusioned by apparently fraudulent parliamentary elections in October, these young leaders are positioning themselves for the 2006 presidential elections. In the second of a two-part series on opposition groups in Central Asia, RFE/RL looks at Kazakhstan. Part 1 --> /featuresarticle/2004/11/4515c0cd-89d4-4b35-9584-8f4c35a567db.html looked at the Uzbek opposition movement.
November 24, 2004
Central Asia: Women’s Rights Groups Fight Gender Violence
Tajik women Gender violence is present in every country of the world. But in some conservative societies of inner Asia, it has not even been considered an issue until recently and remains a taboo subject for public discussion. It is not only men committing acts of violence against women. In many cases in these traditional societies, it is older female relatives that are the tormenters. As women’s rights groups across much of Eurasia on 25 November observe an annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, RFE/RL looks at some of the people working to change local opinions about violence against women.
November 18, 2004
Central Asia: China's Mounting Influence, Part 3 -- Xinjiang's Thirst Threatens Kazakh Water Resources
Since China's annexation of the Xinjiang-Uighur autonomous region in 1950, Beijing has pursued policies that have put considerable pressure on the local environment. This western region, which borders Central Asia, is home to China's main nuclear testing site. Pollution does not respect political boundaries, which is why the impact of the 42 reported tests at Lop Nor worries Central Asians, as does the planned construction of oil and gas pipelines linking Xinjiang to Central Asia. But the most immediate concern is water. China's "go west" policy aimed at further developing its northwestern province requires ever-growing amounts of water. In the third part of a series on China's mounting influence in Central Asia, RFE/RL correspondent Antoine Blua looks at the long-term implications for Kazakhstan of China's increasing use of trans-boundary rivers.
November 17, 2004
Central Asia: Russia Comes On Strong (Part 2)
Vladimir Putin Russia emerged as a major investor in Central Asia in October. Images of Russia as an economically challenged former superpower faded as President Vladimir Putin and Russian companies visited the area making new deals in the region's energy sector. But Russian gains in Central Asia in October weren't confined solely to investment. In this second of a two-part report, RFE/RL takes a closer look at Russia's moves on Central Asia last month.
November 17, 2004
Central Asia: Russia Comes On Strong (Part 1)
October was a significant month for Russia in terms of its interests in Central Asia. In the years following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia was relegated to helping the region primarily on issues of security. Few considered Moscow to have the financial means to become a major investor in the region. But that has changed. Russian President Vladimir Putin's government now appears to be using the lure of money to bring its former Soviet republics back into its fold. In a two-part series, RFE/RL looks at Russia's recent moves in Central Asia.
November 15, 2004
Analysis: Kazakh Breakthrough On Uzbek Terror Case
The violence in Uzbekistan earlier this year killed over 50 people The explosions, shoot-outs, and suicide bombings that struck Uzbekistan on 29 March-1 April and 30 July killed more than 50 people and left a host of unanswered questions in their wake.
November 09, 2004
East: EBRD Report Finds Former Soviet Oil Economies Booming
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) this week confirmed what many in Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia had already suspected -- their economies are booming. In its annual Transition Report, released yesterday, the bank said higher oil and other commodity prices are fueling skyrocketing annual growth for many countries. In fact, the former Soviet Union is now the world's second-fastest-growing region in the world -- behind only China and neighboring countries in Asia. But the high prices won't last forever.
November 04, 2004
Kazakhstan: Nazarbaev Expecting Obedience From Newly Elected Parliament
Kazakhstan's newly elected Mazhilis, the lower house of parliament, held its first session yesterday. President Nursultan Nazarbaev addressed the deputies, setting a policy agenda for the next few years. Nazarbaev made it clear what he expects from the Mazhilis in the coming years -- no opposition to his proposed reforms. And the man chosen to be speaker seems ideally suited to implement the president's will. Notably absent from the first session was the Mazhilis's only opposition deputy, who had resigned in protest the day before.
November 03, 2004
World: Sampling Of Reaction To U.S. Vote Shows Cautious Optimism
In opinion polls before the 2 November vote in the United States, citizens of countries from Canada to South Korea -- with the notable exceptions of Russia and Israel -- declared an overwhelming preference for Democratic Senator John Kerry to win the U.S. presidential election over Republican incumbent George W. Bush. But as the time neared for declaring an actual winner, international figures and people on the streets displayed a cautious optimism. RFE/RL collects a sampling of various opinions from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and around the world.
October 27, 2004
Central Asia: French Scholar Highlights 'Women Of Authority'
In a recent book, "The Women of Authority in Contemporary Central Asia," French scholar Habiba Fathi asserts that Muslim women in Central Asia not only actively participate in religious life but often come to occupy positions of authority. Fathi's in-field study affirms women's considerable religious presence in Central Asia, particularly in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Last week, Fathi presented her findings at the New York-based Open Society Institute and spoke with RFE/RL.