Monday 27 September 2004
September 23, 2004
Central Asia: Shanghai Cooperation Organization Signs Agreement In Bishkek
The Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met today in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. Officials from the member countries -- Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and China -- discussed plans to develop regional economic cooperation and signed an economic agreement. The group was formed in 1996 to fight terrorism and Islamic extremism, but now is taking on other priorities aimed at regional development.
September 17, 2004
Central Asia: NGOs Face Rising Tide Of Suspicion From Governments (Part 2)
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) face a double challenge in Central Asia. Not only must they carry out their difficult mission, but they must also contend with often-hostile authorities. The Central Asian countries are in the processes of a radical transition and suspicions of the motives of foreign NGOs are easily aroused among officials. In the second of a two-part series, RFE/RL correspondent Bruce Pannier looks at the trials and tribulations of foreign NGOs in Central Asia. To see Part 1, click here --> /featuresarticle/2004/09/521ae994-dbf2-4ea3-a36a-c9d3215ea1f4.html .
September 17, 2004
Central Asia: NGOs Helping To Develop Civil Society (Part 1)
Working with refugees is one of the many areas NGOs focus on in the region In free societies, individuals and groups often pursue their interests -- and safeguard them -- in ways that are independent of the state. Collectively, their private actions belong to what is termed "civil society" -- and are the foundation of any democracy. Yet while vital to helping repressed peoples achieve greater political freedom, civil society is not born overnight. It takes time -- and hard work -- to develop. And that's where nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are playing a key role in Central Asia and Afghanistan as they seek to overcome decades of authoritarianism and war. This is the first of a two-part series on NGOs in Central Asia. To see Part 2, click here --> /featuresarticle/2004/09/4ad7f4c1-8aad-481a-a6b3-d7d3201dc023.html .
September 15, 2004
Uzbekistan: U.S.-Russian-Uzbek 'Secret Mission' To Recover Deadly Uranium
The U.S. Energy Department says 11 kilograms of enriched uranium fuel, including the highly enriched kind that could be used for nuclear weapons, have been safely returned to Russia from a lab in Uzbekistan. The one-day secret mission was conducted last week by the United States, Uzbekistan, and Russia and is part of a broad effort to secure high-risk nuclear materials and equipment around the world.
September 14, 2004
Uzbekistan: Tashkent Calls On Neighbors To Boost Border Security
Uzbekistan's president is urging neighboring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to increase security measures along their borders, saying terrorists are taking advantage of poorly monitored frontiers in Central Asia to cross into Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan has acknowledged there is a problem and is discussing measures to correct the situation.
September 10, 2004
Analysis: Kazakhs In Beslan? The Multiethnic Face Of Post-Soviet Terror
A Russian prosecutor's statement that Kazakhs may have been involved in the bloody siege in Beslan has prompted an official Kazakh request for clarification. At the same time, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has called for increased security measures at home. The backdrop to these unfolding events is a purported post-Soviet terrorist international that remains as elusive as it is troubling.
September 01, 2004
U.S.: Former Rights Official Discusses Challenges In Central Asia, Iraq
The U.S. State Department's former top human rights official, Lorne Craner, spent much of the past three years grappling with the challenge of pressing reforms with new U.S. allies in the war on terror. During his final few months in office this year, the State Department de-certified Uzbekistan for economic aid and helped censure Turkmenistan in the UN Human Rights Commission. Craner says such actions demonstrate that, despite accusations to the contrary, the Bush administration has maintained human rights as a foreign policy priority. Craner talked with RFE/RL on the sidelines of the Republican Party convention in New York.
August 31, 2004
Central Asia: Analysts Say Independence Has Been Mixed Bag
Thirteen years ago today, Kyrgyzstan became the first Soviet Central Asian republic to declare its independence from the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan followed the next day, and Tajikistan about a week later on 9 September. By the end of that year, all five Soviet Central Asian republics were free nations. After years of Soviet domination, independence was hoped to usher in a period of rapid political and economic development. But RFE/RL spoke with two analysts who say the reality hasn't yet lived up to the expectations.