Explainer: Violence In Tajikistan’s Badakhshan Province A Legacy Of The Civil War | EurasiaNet.org

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Tajikistan

The Tajik government says it has been fighting “militants” in Badakhshan. Who are these militants and what is motivating them — is it religious, ethnic, economic?

Although the Pamiri who populate Badakhshan are ethnically and religiously different from northern Tajiks, the main drivers of the current conflict are clashing economic and power interests that are the unresolved legacy of the Tajik Civil War. Although fighting in that conflict ended in 1997, the central government has been continuing to settle things with former opposition figures, including many that were brought into power structures following the end of the fighting.

Paul Quinn Judge, acting Asia program director of the International Crisis Group, see the current violence as a legacy of Tajikistan’s Civil War.

“The pattern was after the civil war, in many places, to give local guerilla commanders — commanders of the United Tajik Opposition, that is — positions in their home which would allow them to wield substantial political, administrative, and economic clout,” Quinn Judge said. “The current targets of the government’s operation seems to fall very much within that mold.”

In Badakhshan, the government is targeting a former opposition commander named Talib Ayombekov, who was given a post in the Interior Ministry and later with the border guards. The fighting was sparked by the July 21 killing of Abdullo Nazarov, who was also an opposition commander during the civil war, but who later was made chairman of the Directorate of Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security (KGB) in Badakhshan.

Ashour notes that both men are from the country’s Sunni majority and have relatively little support among the local population.

via Explainer: Violence In Tajikistan’s Badakhshan Province A Legacy Of The Civil War | EurasiaNet.org.

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