Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 48

The sixth round of inter-Tajik negotiations, underway since February 25, ended on March 8 in Moscow with the signing of a military protocol, reported thus far only by Russian sources. If those reports are to be believed, the Tajik Opposition would seem to have agreed in effect to a military surrender in a four-phase "disbandment and disarmament of opposition forces, their merger with government forces, and reform of the latter."

In the first phase, lasting two months, Opposition forces based in Afghanistan would cross into Tajikistan, be disarmed under UN supervision, undergo medical checkups, and be assigned to ten assembly sites. In the second phase, "units of the regular armed forces of Tajikistan will be formed while the Opposition publicly declares the dissolution of its own forces." In the third phase, a joint government-opposition commission would screen on a case by case basis those wishing to serve in the new regular armed forces of Tajikistan. In the fourth phase, former Opposition units would be "fully merged with government forces" in a process to be completed by July 1998. Tajik foreign minister Talbak Nazarov and Opposition chief delegate Akbar Turanjozoda signed the protocol, with Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov and other senior Russian officials present and hailing the document. The Opposition delegation was cited as "requesting Russia to act as a guarantor and to monitor the agreement’s implementation." The next round, which is supposed to wrap up the key political issues, is scheduled for next month in Tehran. ( Interfax, Itar-Tass, March 7-9)

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