Kazakhstan in “shoot to kill order” to protect National Security
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan ordered a “shoot to kill order” against violent “bandits and terrorists.” He told internal security forces to “use lethal force without warning.”
He poured cold water on international calls for compromise. This is partly understandable when from the start it is known that two members of the security forces were beheaded.
Tokayev said, “Abroad there are calls for the two sides to hold negotiations for a peaceful resolution… What idiocy. What kind of negotiations can you have with criminals? We were dealing with armed and well-prepared bandits, both local and foreign. Bandits and terrorists, who should be destroyed. This will happen in the nearest time.”
On the social media network of Twitter, the leader of Kazakhstan said, “Gangsters and terrorists very well trained, organized and commanded by the special center. Some of them were speaking non-Kazakh languages. There were at least six waves of attacks of terrorists at Almaty, total amount of them 20 thousand.”
He continued via Twitter, “The analysis of the situation showed that Kazakhstan is facing an armed act of aggression well prepared and coordinated by perpetrators and terrorist groups trained outside the country.”
The severity of the crisis – and speed – took the leader of Kazakhstan by surprise. However, the response by the Russian Federation and other members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was rapid once Tokayev called for assistance.
The CSTO bloc consists of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, and Tajikistan. If the CSTO contains the crisis – alongside the security apparatus of Kazakhstan – it will be interesting to see if Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (initial member of the CIS Collective Security Treaty) take note and join the CSTO. After all, apart from internal political struggles in Kyrgyzstan, the other nations, after the initial turmoil in Tajikistan many decades ago, have been relatively stable under traditional political elites.
The Guardian reports, “On Friday, relative calm returned to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city and the center of recent tumult, and some residents ventured out for the first time in several days. They found looted shops, shattered glass and many burnt-out cars, with the grim atmosphere intensified by the thick mist enveloping the city.”
Tokayev said, “Currently, the counter-terrorist operation continues in our country. Large-scale and well-coordinated work is being carried out by the police. The National Guard and the armed forces to restore law and order in accordance with the Constitution.”
Reuters reports, “The demonstrations began as a response to a fuel price hike but swelled into a broad movement against Tokayev’s government and former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.”
After stability is restored by the internal security forces of Kazakhstan and the CSTO – Tokayev must address genuine concerns related to economics, political elitism, and social issues. This concerns genuine discontent from ordinary citizens and not the baying mob that beheaded members of the security forces from the start of the crisis.
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