Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 153

The UN secretary-general’s special envoy to the inter-Tajik talks, Ramiro Piriz-Ballon, indicated yesterday that he may fly to Moscow in an apparent attempt to make it lean on its Tajik proteges to observe the cease-fire. Opposition chief delegate Akbar Turajonzoda announced the preceding day in Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat that his delegation was suspending its participation in the UN-mediated inter-Tajik negotiations. The opposition submitted in vain a draft joint statement requiring observance of the cease-fire as a condition for the negotiations and condemning the air raids in Tavildara. Citing continued offensive operations by Tajik military forces with Russian support in the Pamir foothills, the delegation found it "impossible to negotiate on political issues while military actions continue," and would only hold separate consultations with Piriz-Ballon until government troops cease the operations.

At opposition and UN insistence, the Dushanbe government had finally permitted a group of UN military monitors, Russian and Turkmen representatives, and Tajik government-opposition armistice commission members to proceed to the combat theater in Tavildara district December 6. But once there the group was not permitted to go to the area where government troops conduct operations against villages controlled by the resistance.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Dushanbe have moved to undermine the Tajik opposition’s sanctuary in Afghanistan’s Tajik-inhabited region. According to press reports, a Russian military delegation recently met on the Tajik-Afghan border with Ahmad Shah-Massud, the ethnic Tajik commander who controls that part of Afghanistan, and offered to supply his forces with arms against their opponents in the Afghan civil war. Tajikistan’s president Emomali Rakhmonov in his turn issued a statement yesterday praising Afghanistan’s president Burnhanuddin Rabbani as a good Tajik, and expressing sympathy for his fight against fundamentalist forces. Reliance on Russian support may force Rabbani’s government and Massud to police more effectively the border areas where resistance fighters from Tajikistan have their bases. (18)

1. Reuter December 13

2. Reuter, December 12

3. Interfax, December 12

4. Interfax-Ukraine, December 12

5. Segodnya, December 1

6. Interfax, December 7

7. Interfax, December 9

8. Izvestiya, December 2, Interfax, December 7

9. Interfax, December 12

10. Interfax, December 12

11. Izvestiya, November 17

12. Itar-Tass, Russian TV, December 12; Reuter, December 12 and 13

13. Interfax, NTV, Izvestiya, Nezavisimaya gazeta, Reuter, December 12

14. Interfax, December 12

15. BNS, December 12

16. Basapress, December 12

17. Interfax, December 8, 11, and 12

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