Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 3

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niazov yesterday dismissed his top aide for military, security and legal affairs–Ata Rahmanov–for “shortcomings in his work.” The announcement did not specify the alleged shortcomings. Rahmanov had been appointed to that post as recently as September 1998. He had previously been the chairman of Turkmenistan’s supreme court.

When appointing Rahmanov to his new post, Niazov greatly expanded the powers of that office. Rahmanov was mandated to “coordinate the activities” of the army, the border troops, the security apparatus and law enforcement agencies. He was also empowered to supervise political-educational work in the military and security bodies (Turkmen Television, January 4; Itar-Tass, January 5).

Rahmanov’s appointment followed last September’s abortive military rebellion which left, according to several accounts, at least six and up to twelve dead in both rebel and loyalist ranks. Niazov then sacked almost the entire command of army, border, and internal affairs troops (see the Monitor, September 18). That rebellion has never been satisfactorily explained.

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