In a joint statement the United Tajik Opposition’s political leadership and field commanders have expressed "shock" over the detention of opposition supporters in Garm and Tavildara and over the killing of four opposition fighters just east of Dushanbe. The opposition demanded investigations of these incidents and warned that it could retaliate. (Voice of Free Tajikistan, April 22-23) Troop movements, the failure to exchange prisoners, and the arrests and executions of opposition supporters have in recent weeks demonstrated the government’s disregard for ceasefire and amnesty agreements, and have forced the opposition to suspend political negotiations with the government.
In a related development, President Imomali Rahmonov has issued an "anti-terrorism" program for the years 1998-2000 that includes an order for the establishment of "special troops" under the State Security Ministry. (Interfax, April 21-22) This order creates a potentially repressive instrument under exclusive government control, outside the framework of the recent military agreement to merge government and opposition forces as part of a general settlement of the conflict. The aggregate effect of Dushanbe’s military measures will be to complicate even further the negotiations on a political agreement.
Kazakstan Reorganizes Security Apparatus.