Wednesday, August 01, 2012 -
The Tajik government has begun to withdraw troops from the southeastern Gorno-Badakhshan province after eliminating militants who reportedly killed a regional security official last week.
“In order to create normal conditions of service for more than 2,000 soldiers and officers located in Khorog [the provincial capital], it is necessary to return units to their permanent deployment services,” Radio Ozodi reported a source in one of Tajikistan’s law enforcement agencies as saying.
Five hundred soldiers will remain in Khorog to maintain order following the deployment, the source added.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon sent troops into the isolated southeastern province on July 24 to retaliate against militants who allegedly killed the security official. Thirty militants were killed after one night of exchanging fire, the government said.
Rahmon then offered amnesty to surviving militants if they surrendered their weapons. Two hundred weapons thus far have been handed over to the government.
In related news, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko called on the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) this week to intervene in the Tajik conflict.
However, CSTO Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha said CSTO will not get involved.
“It is entire a domestic issue in Tajikistan and does not require the intervention of collective strength,” the KyrTAG news agency reported Bordyuzha as saying to Lukashenko during a meeting in the Belarusian capital Minsk.