United Tajik Opposition chief of staff Dovlat Usmon yesterday clarified the UTO leadership’s reasons for "indefinitely" postponing the arrival of its delegation in Dushanbe. The two buildings prepared by the government for the UTO delegation and its armed escort are "unsuitable from the military-technical point of view and from the point of view of security," he stated. Usmon, in Dushanbe for the last few weeks, had been tasked by UTO chairman Saidabdullo Nuri to check security at those buildings and to enlist expert assistance in looking for possible wiretapping devices. Nuri is the designated chairman of the government-opposition National Reconciliation Commission, which was to have convened last month in Dushanbe in accordance with the June 27 peace agreement. The opening date has been rescheduled several times, but yesterday’s postponement is the first that fails to set a new date.
Also yesterday, Tajik Internal Affairs troops killed four fighters serving under the field commander Namoz near the district center Kofarnihon, some 25 kilometers east of Dushanbe. Opposition forces are entrenched there. Last week another opposition detachment in the same area had attacked the troops and forced them to release fighters arrested in apparent violation of the peace agreement.
The repatriation of Tajik refugees from Afghanistan, suspended earlier this month when fighting broke out among regime factions in southern Tajikistan, has not been resumed despite the defeat of the rebels. Under the June 27 agreement and accompanying documents, the repatriation was due to have been carried out exclusively through the Russian-manned Panj and Ishkashim border checkpoint, with Panj handling most of the flow. Moscow and Dushanbe have not explained publicly why the repatriation has been suspended, but they are now seeking, with UN consent, to reroute some Tajik refugees via Uzbek territory. (Russian agencies, August 27; Voice of Free Tajikistan, August 26)
Russian-Kazakhstani Treaty on "Sleeping Citizenship" Enters Into Effect.