Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 238

The ceasefire in Tajikistan is taking hold, and, in a unilateral gesture of goodwill, the opposition yesterday released — via Kyrgyzstan — 39 out of 96 State Security and Internal Affairs Ministry personnel captured on December 1 in the district center Garm. The opposition forces’ chief of staff, Davlat Usmon, has arrived in the combat zone from his headquarters in Afghanistan and is meeting with opposition field commanders to strengthen the ceasefire. (Interfax, Western agencies, December 18-19)

Meanwhile the UN Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) and UN headquarters in New York made public a strongly-worded protest against the brutalization of observers by Tajik government troops. A UNMOT group en route to Garm in order to verify compliance with the ceasefire was stopped, "insulted in a most outrageous way," physically roughed up, and had its communications equipment confiscated by the government troops, who then staged a mock execution by firing just over the observers’ heads on orders of the troops’ commander. (UN press release, December 18)

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