Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 210

At a conference in Tokyo last week, World Bank and donor countries’ representatives agreed to lend Tajikistan $185 million in 1997 and to consider additional credits in order to "maintain stability and sustain economic reforms." Tied to an IMF-approved reform program, the funds will be used primarily for balance-of-payments support and budget balancing, technical credits, building or overhauling railways and highways, and constructing international airports in Dushanbe, Hojent, and Kulyab. Tajik prime minister Yahie Azimov pledged to the Tokyo conferees that the Tajik government will reform the economy and "build a law-based democratic state." (Itar-Tass, October 31, November 1)

The aftermath of the Tokyo meeting has witnessed the following developments, quite apart from the government’s latest military defeats:

The Tajik government is offering dollar salaries to Russian officers in Russia willing to take up senior posts in Tajikistan’s army, a recruitment that is proceeding apart from the Russian "peacekeepers" already deployed there. Dushanbe’s offers are being publicized in the Russian military press. Tajikistan is the first CIS country to invite Russian officers to assume posts in its own army. (Soldat Otechestva [newspaper of the Volga military district], October 26)

In an unusual expose, official Tajik radio confirmed that military and security authorities are in effect kidnapping young Tajiks to induct them into the army and send them to fight in the civil war — a circumstance which has contributed to the army’s abysmal morale. The radio deplored the "press-ganging system." (Radio Dushanbe, November 4)

The British firm Gold and Mineral Excavation, which has a gold-mining partnership with the Tajik government, suspended its operations. The British firm cited military operations that are drawing closer to the mining area and a drastic decline in production. The previous week, a Canadian company, Nelson Gold, had also withdrawn from a joint gold-mining venture. It cited nonfulfillment of contractual obligations by the Tajik government. (See Monitor, October 31)

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