Situation in Andijan is stabile: Uzbek political expert

Politics Materials 1 June 2009 17:25 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 1 / Trend , E. Ostapenko, V. Zhavoronkova/  

Situation in Uzbekistan's border province Andijan is quiet and there is no danger of spontaneous unrest, famous Uzbek political expert Sergey Yezhkov said.

"It is unreasonable to speak about any real danger of spontaneous unrest or emergence of groups of militants in the country. There is no case-based reasoning," Yezhkov told Trend over telephone from Tashkent.

Because of acts of terrorism that occurred in border area Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan will have to control this situation for some period of time. It does not mean possibility of clash or conflict, he said.

A special rule imposed after terrorist acts that took place in Andijan on May 26 still in force along the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border, RIA Novosti quoted Kyrgyzstan's Border Service as saying.

Following a series of terrorist attacks that occurred in the Uzbek border town of Khanabad and a shooting at the same check point, Kyrgyz and Uzbek border guards reinforced work to protect state borders. Uzbekistan also deployed maneuver teams with armored vehicles on the border with Kyrgyzstan and blocked all roads linking Andijan with other provinces of the country. On May 28, all armored vehicles were withdrawn.

However Yezhkov believes that Uzbekistan does not take any extraordinary security measures.

"This is a common practice of law enforcement agencies - first to eliminate the risk of hearth, and then check what is happening around and can the incident re-occur," Yezhkov said.

Kyrgyzstan's Border Service noted that "local population in border areas of Uzbekistan are becoming increasingly unhappy with the closure of crossing points and block of the roads," RIA Novosti reported.

Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, the demarcation of which is not finished until now, lies along the densely populated areas of the Fergana valley and in some places it divides settlements into two parts and residents have to cross the border to get to the market.

Yezhkov said he visited the scene and the situation on the border was quiet.

"I crossed the border for three consecutive days without any problems in both directions," he said. "There is reinforcement, no one can deny it. But it is due to ongoing monitoring of the situation."

Yezhkov said president and prime minister's trip to Andijan also proves that there is security along the border.

"Yesterday [on Sunday], Uzbek President Islam Karimov went to Andijan, he was in the area, met with border guards, customs officers and representatives of law enforcement agencies," he said.

"If there had been a serious danger in Andijan, would president have flown there?"

Yehkov said the fact that the Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev came back from Andijan on May 27 safely, proves that there is no cause for concern.

"Could he come back to Tashkent on May 27 with a calm mind theoretically suggesting that something else may happen there?" he said.

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