Kazakhstan protests

Nationwide protests in Kazakhstan have forced the country’s government to resign, while troops from Russia and other former Soviet states will be deployed to help “stabilise” the country

Protesters attacked several key buildings, including airports and government offices

There have also been reports of security forces joining the protesters in some areas, but information is still hard to get because of a nationwide internet blackout

The uprising began as protests against rising fuel prices in the oil-rich country quickly turned into public agitation against corruption, undemocratic rule, and former president Nursultan Nazarbayev

Nazarbayev resigned from the presidency amid widespread protests in 2019 after 29 years in charge, but remains a major player in the government

Interestingly, just three days after he left office, the country’s parliament renamed the capital Nur-Sultan in his honour

Nazarbayev appointed a close ally, current President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to replace him but remained chairman of the Security Council of Kazakhstan

Nazarbayev was ousted from the Security Council on Wednesday as part of the effort to appease protesters

But protests continue, and while President Tokayev blames foreign-trained “terrorist gangs” for the unrest, analysts say there is a long list of grievances that have come to a boil

Tokayev, who initially promised harsh action, appears to have softened, slashing fuel prices, freezing utility tariffs, and promising rent assistance while expanding the nationwide curfew

The protests do not appear to be weakening, as lingering resentment over the ruling party — which has ruled since the country became independent in 1990 — and its failure to share the country’s mineral wealth with the poor, even though the Nazarbayev family and his allies have become obscenely rich

However, with rising concern in Russia and China, which both have political and economic interests in the country, we can safely expect them to be put down soon

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2022

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Date:08-Jan-2022 Reference:View Original Link