The Tajik government this morning issued an ultimatum to opposition forces to withdraw from positions they hold in three locations: an eastern section of the capital Dushanbe, the Romit gorge some ten kilometers east of the capital, and a part of Kofarnikhon district some twenty kilometers east of Dushanbe along the country’s principal highway. The government threatens to use massive force in case of noncompliance.
At all three locations, clashes have been in progress since April 29 between government troops and opposition detachments. The government wants those detachments to move to pre-assigned camps and await demobilization there, as part of last year’s peace agreement with the United Tajik Opposition. The government’s communiques yesterday and today stop short of blaming the UTO for the clashes. Instead, the government regards the opposition detachments in question as insubordinate and appears to seek the UTO’s cooperation in subduing them. (Itar-Tass, April 30 and May 1).–VS
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