BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 18
I’m on deserved rest in the capital city of Kazakhstan and haven’t left anywhere, the country's first president - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev said in his address to the Kazakh people, Trend reports on Jan.18 referring to the address.
Nazarbayev emphasized that the January events shocked the whole of Kazakhstan.
"These events once again show that independence must be treasured and protected like a fragile jar that requires especially careful handling. The tragedy has become a lesson for all of us," he said.
"It’s important to find out organizers of all these loots and murders. The investigation will give an answer to this question," the former president noted.
He also expressed condolences to the families and close relatives of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured people.
"Responding to numerous appeals sent to me, and in connection with publications in the media, I inform you that in 2019 I transferred the powers of the President to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and since then I’ve been a pensioner," added Nazarbayev.
Kazakhstan's government announced late Jan. 4 that it was restoring some price caps on liquefied petroleum gas after the rare protests reached Almaty following a sharp rise in the price of the fuel at the start of the year.
Many Kazakhs have converted their cars to run on LPG, which is far cheaper than gasoline as a vehicle fuel in Kazakhstan because of price caps. But the government argued that the low price was unsustainable and lifted the caps on Jan. 1.
After the price of the fuel spiked, big demonstrations erupted on Jan. 2 in certain parts of the country. Public protests are illegal in the country unless their organizers file a notice in advance.
Following the development of the situation, the government declared a state of emergency all over the country. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the government initiated anti-terrorist operations to deal with the ongoing riots.
Also, the divisions of the united peacekeeping contingent of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) arrived in Kazakhstan to assist in restoring order and help protect strategic objects of the country.