The Tajik government and the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) yesterday issued a joint ultimatum to what they termed the “unlawful armed bands” commanded, respectively, by Saidmuhtor Erov and Rovshan Gafurov. The ultimatum gives the members of those detachments seven days to lay down their arms and quit, or, alternatively, to turn themselves in with their weapons to the government authorities or to the National Reconciliation Commission. The defectors are being guaranteed personal safety, legal immunity and a return to peaceful civilian life. The government and the opposition threaten to mount a joint military operation and destroy the two renegade detachments after the expiration of the seven-day deadline. The document describes those groups as operating independently of either the government or the UTO forces and engaging in banditry, terrorism, hostage-taking and assassinations (Russian agencies, October 1).
The document further implies that these two groups are only a part of a larger phenomenon of insubordinate armed groups operating with impunity in Tajikistan. But it does not hint whether the Erov and Gafurov groups used to be affiliated with either the government forces or those of the opposition. During the civil war, government forces in particular were plagued by insubordination, with entire units alternating between combat service and freelance brigandage.–VS
The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at [email protected], by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions