Kazakhstan: Unrest unseats oligarchy amid human rights concerns

Deadly unrest ripped through Kazakhstan in early January. Peaceful demonstrations against fuel price hikes galvanised outrage at three decades of leadership that has widened the chasm between the ruling elite and the general population.

As clashes between protesters and the authorities intensified, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency and took the extraordinary step of seizing control of the Security Council and removing its chair, his predecessor the former president. Nursultan Nazarbayev had ruled the country from 1990-2019 and his family and allies still control a large proportion of the oil-rich nation’s economy.

Tokayev also called on the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization to send in 2,000 soldiers to act as peacekeepers, bolstering Moscow’s military presence in a country where Russian influence is already significant. Nazarbayev later appeared on video denying claims that he had been forced to flee the country.

Published on 04-02-22. Read on here.

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