Friday 20 August 2004
August 20, 2004
Analysis: Terror In Uzbekistan
The aftermath of a bombing in Tashkent this spring. Perpetual Polemic Terrorism, and particularly terrorism with a perceived or avowed Islamist agenda, has sparked an increasingly acrimonious debate. Broadly speaking, two positions, both of which condemn terrorism -- without exclusively defining it -- as an unacceptable form of political violence, delimit the debate: 1) that terrorism emerges from the confluence of legitimate grievances and unresponsive government, and that the best way to fight terrorism is by creating viable mechanisms for effecting political change and addressing festering concerns; 2) that terrorism represents an ideological commitment to violence so willfully and profoundly at variance with acceptable standards of civilized behavior that it must be stamped out with the harshest measures the law allows, or else it will metastasize like a cancer.
August 20, 2004
Tajikistan: Traders Look to China For Brighter Fortunes
For landlocked Central Asia, transport infrastructures and regional cooperation are key conditions to emerging from trade isolation. By opening transport links with neighboring China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have in recent years established themselves as important conduits for Chinese goods sold in Central Asia, where they are in great demand. Tajikistan followed almost three months ago with the opening of a border crossing that had been sealed since Soviet times.
August 19, 2004
Uzbekistan: Government Announces Effort To Clear Borders Of Land Mines
After five years, the Uzbek government has finally agreed to help in demining its borders with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The land mines were planted to prevent militants from entering Uzbekistan from the east, but so far appear only to have killed scores of civilians. Though reports this week claim that the process of removing the mines has already begun, residents in some of the affected areas say otherwise.
August 18, 2004
OSCE: Organization Shifting To Focus Greater Attention On Central Asia, Caucasus
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should consider paying extra attention to Central Asia and the Caucasus. That's the view of the OSCE's current chairman, Solomon Pasi. Pasi, who is also Bulgaria's foreign minister, says it makes sense now to concentrate on those parts of the world, in view of new international realities. He also said it would be "far more useful" to hold the OSCE's major annual economic forum in Central Asia rather than in Central Europe. RFE/RL reports on what looks like a shift in emphasis for the 55-member OSCE, which is Europe's largest security and rights body.
August 03, 2004
Uzbekistan: Investigation Continues Into Blasts, With Focus On Hizb Ut-Tahrir
Karimov blames Hizb ut-Tahrir for the violence (file photo) For the second time this year, Uzbekistan was the target of suicide bombers. The 30 July attacks targeted the U.S. and Israeli embassies as well as the Uzbek Prosecutor-General's Office. Seven people were killed, including the three bombers. Uzbek authorities, who have long warned of the threat of rising extremism, were quick to blame the attacks on members of the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir. But analysts reject the Uzbek officials' view, saying the group has never been linked to any acts of violence.
August 02, 2004
Uzbek Terrorism Trial Adjourned
Scene of one of the March-April bombings in Tashkent (file photo) 2 August 2004 -- The trial of 15 people accused of involvement in attacks in the Uzbek capital Tashkent and the western city of Bukhara in late March-early April was adjourned today in the wake of bomb attacks in Tashkent on 30 July.
July 31, 2004
Uzbek Blast Draws International Criticism
There's been international condemnation of a series of suicide bomb attacks that hit the Uzbek capital Tashkent yesterday. Three people have now died as a result of the blasts, which targeted the U.S. and Israeli embassies and the state prosecutor's office. But it's still unclear who carried out the explosions.
July 30, 2004
Suicide Bombers In Tashkent Kill At Least Two
30 July 2004 -- Three suicide bombers attacked the U.S. Embassy, the Israeli Embassy, and the Prosecutor-General's Office in the Uzbek capital Tashkent today. At least two people are reported to have been killed -- not including the suicide bombers -- and nine others wounded, two seriously.
July 27, 2004
Uzbekistan: 'Terror' Trial Likely To Hold Few Surprises
The trial of 15 people accused of complicity in the violence in Uzbekistan in late March and early April started yesterday in Tashkent. The conduct of the trial is already following a pattern made familiar in previous court cases dealing with alleged Islamic radicals. Those cases were used to justify the government's continued crackdown on what it called religious extremism.