PDA

View Full Version : Uzbekistan, Karakalpakistan, and the Central Asian blurred borders.



cyppok
02 Aug 12,, 04:45
WINDOW ON HEARTLAND: Karakalpakstan: Uzbekistan’s latent conflict (http://www.windowonheartland.net/2012/01/karakalpakstan-uzbekistans-latent.html)


Last week, the Russian oil company Lukoil announced to have coaxed the first natural gas out of its South West Gissar development in Uzbekistan. The production came from the Dzharkuduk-Yangi Kyzylcha field, part of the Kashkadarya Region in the southern part of the country. Like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan is a dry but energy-rich country: export of hydrocarbons provided about 40% of foreign exchange earnings in 2009. One of the regions with the largest estimated reserves of fossil fuels is the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, which occupies the western part of Uzbekistan.

The discovery of major Karakalpak gas fields on the central U’stirt plateau and under the bed of the Aral Sea during the 1990’s has led the Uzbek government to the recognition of the region as the number one national priority for future investment in gas field development and production. According to some estimates, Karakalpakstan’s natural-resources wealth could amount to 1.7 trillion cubic metres of natural gas and 1.7 billion tonnes of oil. Nevertheless, such developments may soon pose a threat to Uzbekistan’s national unity, as they are actually fuelling a revival of separatist sentiments among Karakalpaks.
I doubt they ever go independent or try to leave unless there is an extreme regional destabilization.

It will most likely Occur between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan since there were some ethnic conflicts already in the south. Btw Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and Karakalpaks are essentially the same ethnic group more or less.
Kyrgyzstan News | Ethnic Conflict | Racial Violence (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/asia/100617/kyrgyzstan-news-ethnic%20conflict)
From two years ago...

OSH, Kyrgyzstan — In Osh last weekend, entire streets and neighborhoods went up in flames, sometimes incinerating families inside them, in an outbreak of racial violence. The official death toll is reaching 200, but many observers believe that this figure may climb higher. The United Nations says that 400,000 people have now fled the hostilities.


Friendships abound and many neighborhoods are mixed, but tensions between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks have been building for years. In 1990, similar violence between the two groups resulted in hundreds dead. Before this most recent outbreak, Uzbeks could be heard complaining that Kyrgyz held all political power and did not respect their ethnic rights. Kyrgyz for their part said that all the main businesses belonged to Uzbeks and that they were always pushing for extra influence.

“It’s been simmering and simmering for a long time now,” said Mukhabat Kurbanalieva, a Kyrgyz trader at a local bazaar. “All the owners are Uzbek, and all the workers are Kyrgyz,”

“We live in Kyrgyzstan, but the Uzbeks behave obnoxiously — they want this to be an autonomous part of Uzbekistan,” she added.

Uzbekistan also has a large Tajik minority that they simply pretend is Uzbeks for the sake of political expedience but I am sure there are undercurrents in this area as well.
Ethnically everyone is different, Tajiks are Iranian speaking, Uzbeks Turkic and Kyrgyz are ethnically different. Maps have areas of each where large ethnic overruns occur.

What is interesting is the pressure food and economic matter are having on the region. Extremely overrun by Chinese goods and to a large degree in competition with one another for every basic necessity, food, water, land, energy, heat, you name it.

Andijan Massacre Linked to Local Power Struggle -- Source | EurasiaNet.org (http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav092905.shtml)
This is about Andijan massacre and close to what really happened instead of Islamic insurgency.
Uzbekistan is on the verge of transition of power and it will most likely be very destabilizing. The reasons for this is that Karimov is unlikely to pass his power to his daughters and someone from within will have to be chosen. This could create two camps of potential and may in some way allow more than that since a lot of province heads could go de-facto warlord and recognize nobody except themselves.
Uzbekistan: Tashkent (http://www.eurasianet.org/node/65735)
This is why I think it won't go to his daughter. Also notice the extreme money and business grabbing by authorities almost a free for all for any assets for the coming potential power struggle.


Five managers – including Russian citizen Radik Dautov, who was appointed Uzdunrobita’s acting head after director Bekzod Akhmedov fled Uzbekistan – are under arrest. On July 25, Russian officials said they had voiced their “concern” to Tashkent about Dautov’s detention. Six days later, Moscow urged a resolution to an “ever more acute” dispute.

MTS (owned by Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov) denies being in breach of the law and is fighting back, condemning “the use of the tactic of intimidation and arrest of Uzdunrobita staff,” and assailing the “ungrounded attacks on a Russian investor’s business.”


Leaked US diplomatic cables have detailed the sway of the well-connected over Uzbekistan’s economy. One 2008 cable memorably described the rush for assets as “a fairly brazen, at times seemingly desperate grab by [Uzbekistan’s] elites for portions of the Uzbek economic pie.”

It also spoke of “a steady drumbeat of complaints from foreign investors” – and four years on, the list of disappointed investors continues to grow, encompassing Western, Turkish, and Asian firms, as well as Russian ones like MTS.

The case of UK-based company Oxus Gold illustrates the risks faced by bold investors venturing into Uzbekistan’s high-stakes economy. Following sustained pressure (including the imprisonment of a company metallurgist for 12 years on espionage charges), Oxus agreed to sell its 50-percent stake in the Amantaytau Goldfields mining operation to its Uzbek partners last year – but its troubles did not end there.

Oxus accused the buyers of understating the value of its share and remains locked in litigation, seeking $400 million at international arbitration over what company lawyer Robert Amsterdam has bitterly described as “an ongoing campaign to fabricate a reason to steal the last foreign assets in the mining industry in Uzbekistan.”

Turkish-owned businesses have also come to grief. The once popular Demir supermarket in downtown Tashkent stands shuttered after its owners quit Uzbekistan amid disagreements with authorities; investors in another Tashkent store, Turkuaz, fared worse: one is serving a three-year jail sentence on tax evasion charges, seven other Turks were convicted on the charge, but deported, and Turkuaz (renamed Toshkent) is doing a roaring trade under Uzbek management.

The list goes on: Indian textile firm Spentex Industries this spring lodged a $100-million compensation claim with Tashkent after “bankruptcy was thrust upon it;” Denmark’s Carlsberg suspended operations this year over what it described as a “shortage of raw materials.”

Post Afghanistan Pullout there will be a very large ethnic element that is armed in Afghanistan both Uzbeks and Tajiks and Afghans. Some of those will most likely try to gain some measure of "safety" realtive to Afghanistan in the stans. Bear in mind that for someone poor in the middle of a civil war a country next door that is slightly less corrupt and stable does look better even if to us here in the west both look like sht holes.

Russia fears that the coming pressure on these societies due to migration within the region simply overloads them and everything from Syria through Iran through Central Asia goes apesht and we have these massive ethnic disturbances where "terrorists" and non terrorists go at it with each other and anyone else they deem at fault for their problems which could be everyone. Radicalization of migrant communities which have millions of people in Russia would be the worst possible thing. I actually think redrawing of some maps is inevitable and not all of them will be the way we think. Have no idea how it goes in the Tajik/Kyrgyz/Uzbek border. Since each can get help from outside in essence.

Double Edge
03 Aug 12,, 02:01
Post Afghanistan Pullout there will be a very large ethnic element that is armed in Afghanistan both Uzbeks and Tajiks and Afghans. Some of those will most likely try to gain some measure of "safety" realtive to Afghanistan in the stans. Bear in mind that for someone poor in the middle of a civil war a country next door that is slightly less corrupt and stable does look better even if to us here in the west both look like sht holes.
Which only goes to show how important it is that Afghanistan be stabilised as the well being of its neighbours as well as other non-adjacent countries depends on it.


Russia fears that the coming pressure on these societies due to migration within the region simply overloads them and everything from Syria through Iran through Central Asia goes apesht and we have these massive ethnic disturbances where "terrorists" and non terrorists go at it with each other and anyone else they deem at fault for their problems which could be everyone. Radicalization of migrant communities which have millions of people in Russia would be the worst possible thing.
With Russian fears, come the fears of other great nations in the region as well. If they all try to meddle in the affairs here it will create a mess. There will have to be coordination here amongst various powers in international forums.

Karimov talks about the threats facing the Uzbeks in his '97 book, here (http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/eBooks/Asia/BOOKS/Uzbekistan%2021st%20Century%20Karimov.pdf)


I actually think redrawing of some maps is inevitable and not all of them will be the way we think. Have no idea how it goes in the Tajik/Kyrgyz/Uzbek border. Since each can get help from outside in essence.
Bad idea according to Karimov.


Often a deliberate selection of arguments is presented in favor of, for instance, the unification of Tajiks or Uzbeks and Pushtun tribes on both sides of the border with Afghanistan. The consequences of any attempt to change existing borders using the principles of ethnic division are unthinkable. A change of borders in our region might result in a horrifying effect for the entire world community, and the conflict of a similar kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina would seem a prelude to this holocaust.

cyppok
03 Aug 12,, 21:38
Which only goes to show how important it is that Afghanistan be stabilised as the well being of its neighbours as well as other non-adjacent countries depends on it.


With Russian fears, come the fears of other great nations in the region as well. If they all try to meddle in the affairs here it will create a mess. There will have to be coordination here amongst various powers in international forums.

Karimov talks about the threats facing the Uzbeks in his '97 book, here (http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/eBooks/Asia/BOOKS/Uzbekistan%2021st%20Century%20Karimov.pdf)


Bad idea according to Karimov.

Karimov is probably the most authoritarian ruler in post soviet space. Lukashenko is more popular at home while hated abroad. Karimov also is pretty old(74) and eventually there will be a power transfer it will divide the ruling class somewhat and when that happens all the internally suppressed elements will have their chance to stake out a claim. Not pretty considering what happened in Andijan and if you think about it being a power struggle crackdown instead of "religious extremists".

Afghanistan will not be stabilized, once US leaves the internal dynamics will take over just like when the British, Soviets, and others left. Afghanistan is chaotic and directed at self actualization once it stops fighting internally(somewhat) the Pushtun areas of Pakistan will light up and de facto cross border civil war starts up.

You don't get Russian fears. The fear is to do something they rather not do. If those ethnic wars start up the redrawing of maps has to be done by every participant Russian included... Leverage in the region will decrease by an extreme amount and economically everyone gets weaker because right now some of the cross border economic links are functional.

International coordinations and forums are meaningless when the situation on the ground goes out of control and two ethnicities establish new borders that are enforced. No amount of talking will change it back.

Uzbekistan by constantly cracking down on their businessmen creates a culture of uncertainty that you have to get yours now by any means necessary. (btw their main party simply switched their name from communists to democrats and whatnot and then launched a new party to make it seem different but people are all the same). Property and individuality suppression works until a certain point, my feeling is they go into the 90s where lawlessness and armed gangs fracture and redivide the country among themselves business wise while the old guard is quietly brushed aside. Sure they will declare laws and whatnot but their families will be brushed aside and robbed no matter the connections they have because that is what the new generations of youths learn. Ruthlessness will be paramount. Unlike Ukraine and Russia where this somewhat happened in Uzbekistan it could be far more worse due to Asian culture. Saving of face, familial bonds, and other aspects.

Think about it every bureaucrat has to check multiple things with his heir ups for fear of loosing his place while someone whom no longer cares what happens simply removes impediments (by any means necessary) until his road is clear for the next step. Currency controls mandate the worthlessness of currency and help aid this thinking.

cyppok
06 Aug 12,, 07:38
Central Asia has a lot of flexibility.

Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan etc...

Population wise all of these countries are sustainable even with water shortages which are mainly in the case of Uzbekistan used for government cotton cash crap for forex inducement.

In about 5-10 years not that far away they will probably hit a 100 million people (40/35+ for Afghanistan/Uzbekistan, Tajiks will probably hit 10 and Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan another 30+).

Planned Inefficiency in Uzbek Cotton Sector - Ferghana Information agency, Moscow (http://enews.fergananews.com/article.php?id=2766)
Planned Inefficiency in Uzbek Cotton Sector
03.07.2012 10:43 msk
NBCA


Pressure to meet production quotas is making life unbearable for many farmers in Uzbekistan, and some say they would sell up and emigrate if only they could.

Although farmers are technically private leaseholders, they continue to be bound by a Soviet-style quota system for cotton, under which they have to grow at least 1.5 tons per hectare or face the consequences.

They have to sell to government-controlled buyers at low prices, and the state then sells the cotton on the international market at a hefty mark-up.


Pressure to meet unachievable production targets takes a heavy toll. In late April, Komil Kambarov, a 48-year-old farmers from the Payarik district in the Samarkand region, committed suicide after 12 years in which he had made no profit once he had fulfilled the cotton quota demanded by the state.

When Qurbonova met him a few days before his death, he told her he saw little point in continuing to do backbreaking work for zero gain.

In September 2011, Ismoil Turanazarov, a 50-year-old from Muzrabad district, close to the Afghan border, left a suicide note saying he was unable to meet his quota because the local authorities had not provided the machinery and fuel they were supposed to.


Many farmers would like to throw in the towel and join the steady exodus of Uzbeks looking for work in Russia.

To do that, however, they have to annul their land lease, and local authorities make that extremely difficult. At the very least, the farmer has to find someone else willing to take over the land.

One man described attending a meeting convened by the local government chief, who told farmers, “Each of you owes at least 100 million soms [50,000 US dollars] to your suppliers. If you want to abandon your land, go ahead – a court arrest warrant will ensure no one runs away. If anyone does abscond, his family will be stripped of its home and property. Everything will be auctioned off.”

I figure once Uzbekistan gets into transition phase and population density goes up a bit with the global economic impact hitting cotton prices we get into untenable situation of internal disjunction. So much state control sooner or later becomes a terrible weakness and with fast growing populations that needs growth constrained by beuracracy, nepotism, and general government inflexability (price controls etc) we get fracture events.

The robbery of foreign investors simply shows how desperate the regime is for cash flow that is simply not coming from either internal growth or external interests. Last actions of a desperate man sorta.

troung
06 Aug 12,, 23:44
:fish: ...

cyppok
07 Aug 12,, 13:13
:fish: ...

Ya I am kinda fishing but the point is sort of there. It is one of the last countries that did not go through shock therapy of prices becoming decontrolled. Turkmenistan and Belarus also but to a much lower degree and they are more stable due to money/demographic stagnation.

Uzbekistan is trying to have investments but under full capital controls and with maximum corruption for bureaucracy reaping benefits of them. Even Chinese will let you establish a business before it is copied and robbed instead of bureaucratically fining(burying) you into oblivion before it is profitable or operational.

Also actual religious proliferation is rather high due to society being so constrained. I actually think if Tajikistan left CSTO there might be a confrontation sooner or later because of size differences.

cyppok
12 Aug 12,, 21:07
Tajikistan Invites Iranian Military to Intervene | EurasiaNet.org (http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64221)



Tajikistan Invites Iranian Military to Intervene
September 26, 2011 - 3:29am, by Joshua Kucera

A couple of weeks ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmahinejad visited Dushanbe, and Tajikistan's defense minister Sherali Khairulloyev made a statement that raised some eyebrows around the region:


"Today, if necessary, the Islamic Republic of Iran's Armed Forces can reach Tajikistan in two hours, and if a military presence of the Tajik side in the similar plans and programs of the Islamic Republic is necessary, the representative units of Tajikistan's Armed Forces are also ready to travel to Iran," Khairulloyev said...

"We support each other under any conditions and both friends and foes consider us as two friendly and brotherly countries," he added.

Say what? The prospect of Iranian forces intervening in Tajikistan is certainly an intriguing one. (The prospect of Tajikistan's forces doing the same in Iran is clearly just a rhetorical bone thrown to Tajikistan's dignity; it has enough trouble defending its own territory, let alone that of Iran.)

Sort of interesting.

andrew
16 Aug 12,, 17:42
In about 5-10 years not that far away they will probably hit a 100 million people

And many of them are going straight north.
According to the Federal migration service, in just the first half of this year 8 million of guest workers have arrived to Russia.
Now in my provincial town with local population of 65 000 people there are probably 1 500 - 2 000 Uzbeks and about 2 500 people of other Central Asian origins. No one is able to count exactly.

cyppok
31 Aug 12,, 11:04
I think the borders will be shut more or less as the global economy closes down. You will see lots of migrants going home instead of staying since having no job at home is better than not having one abroad.

Kazakhstan (http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/main/2012/08/28/feature-01)

Kyrgyz border migration worries officials - Central Asia Online (http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/main/2012/08/24/feature-01)

There is a lot of emphasis in the region for jobs jobs jobs, stability, and economic development. While simultaneously there is pressure on existing businesses via them being smitten down by either nepotistic bureaucracy wanting the peace or the whole action and simply taking them over once they do well enough. And you could sort of see the idiocy of this.

Please invest into our countries while we suppress people ourselves and after you invest we dispossess you by giving it to our relatives via government expropriation. All of this is underpinned by the simmering population growth like in a pressure cooker with each respective government trying to be the lid that can withstand as much pressure as possible.
Uzbekistan sees inflation surge - UzNews.net (http://www.uznews.net/news_single.php?lng=en&cid=2&nid=18064)
Minimum basket of goods increases in price by 2.28% in six months - UzNews.net (http://www.uznews.net/news_single.php?lng=en&sub=number&cid=2&nid=20271)

Foreign investors lose trust in Uzbekistan - UzNews.net (http://www.uznews.net/news_single.php?lng=en&sub=top&cid=2&nid=19733)


09.05.12 12:15
Foreign investors lose trust in Uzbekistan
Foreign direct investment in the Uzbek economy fell by 53.38% in the first quarter of 2012.

Foreign companies invested 392.5 billion sums, or $215.6m at the official exchange rate, in the Uzbek economy in the first three months of the year against 824.4 billion sums (about $481m) in the same period of 2011, according to State Statistics Committee data.

“A decrease, which was very steep, in investment volumes started in 2011. A decrease stood at over 42% in the first quarter of last year compared with the first quarter of 2010, while foreign investment fell by more than 22% in the entire year,” a Finance Ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

cyppok
05 Oct 12,, 09:01
Putin In Dushanbe For Talks On Fate Of Base (http://www.rferl.org/content/tajikistan-russia-military-base-/24729593.html)
Was tempted to start Uzbek vs Tajik thread (maybe I have already don't remember)

There is still wrangling it seems over the Russian bases in Tajikistan, the whole ordeal is to get concessions to fund the Rogun dam. Most of electricity would go to smelter self sufficiency and give gov't forex to spend and steal etc...
Asia Times Online :: Russia loses hold on Tajikistan pivot (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/NG11Ag01.html)
In some way Tajikistan if it pushed out the base would loose defensive support it needs against Uzbekistan so doing it would be idiotic but possible. Greed triumphs over wisdom a lot. The most odd outcome would be to force closure of bases and then get out of the defensive alliance.

At that point Uzbekistan and Tajikistan can go at each other with no outside intervention.

Fyi I kinda think Tajikistan has an edge even though population wise its smaller. Experience, defensive terrain, and other aspects. Also if you read the retaking of Farkhad dam kinda shows how horribly incompetent things can be.
Uzbekistan & Tajikistan | Russiawatchers (http://russiawatchers.ru/translation/uzbekistan-and-tajikistan/#more-2991)

I used google translate for this story ("How Tajikistan returned the Farkhad Dam (http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.tj%2Fru%2Fnews%2Fkak-tadzhikistan-vernul-plotinu-i-farkhodskoe-vodokhranilishche&act=url)") Kinda interesting overall with soldiers being sent in with sewn magazine pouches by Uzbek side etc... hard to believe kinda.