By Blanka Hancilova (5/23/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Since the May 1994 cease-fire, which left Nagorno Karabakh de facto independent and with a territorial link to Armenia, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is effectively in deadlock. Since spring 1999, both the level of dialogue between the parties and the degree of international involvement increased considerably. The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Robert Kocharian and Heidar Aliyev, have met sixteen times to discuss the conflict.
By Robert M. Cutler (12/5/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: After Kazakhstan unwillingly obtained its independence upon the disintegration of the Soviet regime, Nazarbaev tacitly proclaimed war against the bloated state bureaucracy he inherited, which also constituted a potential opposition power base. After the first post-Soviet parliament was elected in 1994, on the basis of the country's first post-Soviet constitution, lobbies and alliances began to emerge between parliamentary groupings on the one hand, and the lower and middle ranks of the ministerial structures on the other. Nazarbaev engineered the parliament's dissolution in 1994 when, on the basis of an accusation of electoral fraud by an anti-Nazarbaev candidate in a single electoral district, the Constitutional Court ruled the entire parliament to be illegal.
By Ahmed Rashid (5/23/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Tajikistan faces major threats which include a likely renewed summer offensive by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) which has bases in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, but also has military camps and recruiting centers in the Tavildera valley in central Tajikistan; the threat from the Taliban and continued fighting on the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border between the Taliban and the opposition United Front led by Ahmad Shah Masud; drug trafficking from Afghanistan and a worsening economic crisis due to the earlier neglect of the international donor community to fulfill its pledges after the 1997 ceasefire and establishment of a coalition government which ended the five year civil war, to help reconstruct Tajikistan. The US and other leading powers have finally recognized what President Imomali Rakhmanov has long said, that sustaining the coalition government in Dushanbe is vital for peace and security in Central Asia and that it could provide a model for an eventual peaceful settlement of the civil war in Afghanistan.
General Franks visited Dushanbe on May 16, where he conveyed a message from the Bush administration that the US considers Tajikistan ‘a strategically significant country’ for peace and security in Central Asia.
By Abdukhalil Razzakov (6/6/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The end of 20th century and the beginning of 21st has seen serious drought in Central Asia and adjoining regions. The water problem has never been so acute in the post-independent history of the Central Asian states. The ecologic situation in the Aral Sea basin is disastrous; only one third of the Aral Sea’s surface remains.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.