Uzbekistan: Willing to Act

The dust has settled, for now anyway, in the Uzbek city of Andijan. International attention has shifted to more pressing issues and apart from the small number of refugees remaining in Kyrgyzstan, the episode has dropped off the radar. However, the violent events in mid-May raise profound questions for regional and international security.

The World Today Updated 15 October 2020 Published 1 August 2005 4 minute READ

S Neil Macfarlane

Uzbekistan’s stability is crucial to a region that has great significance in international relations. The apparent capacity of Uzbek authorities to ignore their own international human rights commitments threw into question evolving human rights and sovereignty standards. The diplomatic fallout may significantly alter the configuration of great power politics in the region.

Uzbek authorities have suggested the disturbances were the result of a conspiracy by outside groups linked to international Islamist terror networks. However, there is no evidence the uprising was engineered from outside. It seems much more likely it was rooted in wider socio-economic frustration and oppression by local law enforcement and the judiciary.

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