EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Tajikistan: Growing Security Threat From Local And External Insurgencies

Posted by Info on 27/05/2011

Bishkek/Brussels, 24 May 2011 – International Crisis Group: report n. 205
Tajikistan, by most measures Central Asia’s poorest and most vulnerable state. After his security forces failed to bring warlords and a small group of young insurgents to heel in the eastern region of Rasht in 2010-2011, President Emomali Rakhmon did a deal to bring a temporary peace to the area. But he may soon face a tougher challenge from the resurgent Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group with a vision of an Islamist caliphate that is fighting in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban.

That conflict is moving closer to the 1,400km Afghan-Tajik border. Many anti-government guerrillas operating in northern Afghanistan are of Central Asian origin and are largely affiliated with the IMU. Tajikistan has almost no capacity to tackle a dedicated insurgent force. A new generation of guerrillas is emerging, both within Tajikistan and in the IMU.

Tajiks studying in foreign Islamic institutions have been called home; the government is trying to control the content of Friday sermons and prevent young people from visiting mosques; it has also dismissed some clerics.
Jihadist groups, too, are paying more attention to Tajikistan. A small number of fighters from the North Caucasus have also been active in Tajikistan in recent years. Radicalisation by osmosis is growing: Tajikistan is gradually becoming part of the virtual jihad. Islamist websites are paying increasing attention to events in the country. Islamic militants in Tajikistan are adopting tactics already well known in other jihadist struggles, notably in the North Caucasus. A new generation of guerrillas is emerging, both within Tajikistan and in the IMU.
Tajiks studying in foreign Islamic institutions have been called home; the government is trying to control the content of Friday sermons and prevent young people from visiting mosques; it has also dismissed some clerics.

Jihadist groups, too, are paying more attention to Tajikistan. A small number of fighters from the North Caucasus have also been active in Tajikistan in recent years. In September 2010 the country witnessed what was described as its first suicide bombing. The northern border area of Isfara is developing the reputation of a safe haven for armed militants.

President Rakhmon denies that the North African scenario of popular unrest and revolt could happen in Tajikistan; despite the different circumstances, such confidence is questionable. Tajikistan is so vulnerable that a small, localised problem could quickly spiral into a threat to the regime’s existence.

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