Tajik President Imomali Rahmonov and United Tajik Opposition (UTO) leader Saidabdullo Nuri yesterday overcame a dispute which had threatened the pacification process. Following the assassination of UTO’s main secular leader, Otahon Latifi, on September 22 (see the Monitor, September 23), the opposition suspended its participation in the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) and in the would-be government of national unity. UTO demanded that official Dushanbe identify Latifi’s killers and the suspects in nearly a dozen assassinations, or attempted assassinations, of opposition commanders and followers in the last two months. UTO was also outraged by an attempt on September 21 to blow up a barge that was repatriating from Afghanistan the last detachment of UTO fighters under Tajik government guarantees.
The government’s inability to guarantee security in Dushanbe has reached such proportions that the U.S. embassy last week announced a drastic reduction of its personnel and activities, pending an improvement in the security situation.
At yesterday’s meeting, Rahmonov and Nuri agreed on a ten-point set of measures designed to improve the security of UTO representatives in the NRC and the government, speed up the overdue inclusion of UTO nominees in central and local government bodies, strengthen discipline in the armed forces of both sides, pending the formation of a single national army, and more effectively implement the agreement to “refrain from mutual recriminations in mass media” (implying government propaganda against the opposition) (Itar-Tass and international agencies, September 28).–VS
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