Uzbekistan again…

by Nathan Hamm on 4/3/2004 · 1 comment

Now that there have been a few days without any serious violence (that anyone knows about anyway), there are a lot of stories coming out of Uzbekistan with more depth and background.

And since I see it as my role to bring them to you, here they are.

Uzbek media under fire, from the BBC. The local media took their time reporting last week’s attacks and didn’t carry them as lead stories. Doesn’t surprise me one bit. On 9/11, Russian news was the only thing carrying the attacks in New York. What was on the Uzbek media? Reports of the cotton harvest.

An arms cache seized from militants has been put on display for the press.

State mosques warned followers to watch for “kamikazes” in their ranks during Friday sermons.

Though I’m always suspect of Pravda*, I think they’re not making this one up. Russia’s special services have offered to help investigate the Uzbekistan bombings.

Fear plagues Bukhara. I think the characterization of Bukhara as a current center of Islamic learning is just a wee bit misleading. 70 years of the Soviets did a fair job erasing that. Nonetheless, there’s actual interviews with locals in the story.

The father of Bukhara’s (Kakhramon’s really) bomb-maker speaks out about his son and his involvement in Islamic terror. It’s interesting to note the father saying he thinks his son was coerced into storing explosives in his home. Others arrested for involvement in terror across the region have talked about wanting to get out of the groups they were involved with but they found themselves trapped.

* If you want to know why I’m cautious about Pravda, read either of the following:
Alien visits Russian Province
Soviet Army Fought UFOs


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

Andy April 4, 2004 at 9:58 am

The Economist also has an article up about Uzbekistan. For the moment its up for anyone to view, but they’ll probably make it premium content in a few days.

Its a good roundup of the situation there. A lot of it is stuff that Nathan has been saying for a long time, but there are some pretty interesting bits and pieces about the economy, including the news that the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development is holding a meeting on Tuesday to consider whether it should continue investing there. Uzbekistan has so far failed to meet almost all of the economic and human rights targets it was set and the Eurobankers are not happy at all.

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