Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 114

Tajik Defense Ministry officials said yesterday that their troops are advancing in Tavildara district, having forced the opposition to withdraw "with big losses" from Tavildara town and surrounding villages. The officials credited the unit of Colonel Mahmud Khudoberdiev — leader of last year’s anti-government mutiny in Kurgan-Tyube — for spearheading this offensive.

The new UN special envoy for Tajikistan, Gerd Merrem, obtained the opposition’s but not Dushanbe’s consent to resuming the inter-Tajik talks this week. President Imomali Rahmonov had successfully forced a postponement until next month in the apparent hope of completing the offensive operation by that time. The UN was also unable to obtain Rahmonov’s consent to a visit by the UN. Military Observer Group in Tajikistan (UNMOT) to the combat zone. The U.N. Security Council last week renewed UNMOT’s mandate for another six months.

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