Tajikistan. In February, President Imomali Rachmonov
appointed five members of the opposition to ministers, and
in March, the united opposition was appointed UTO's second
leader Chadzji Akhbar Turadzjonzoda as first deputy prime
minister. It was in line with the 1997 peace treaty, which
had ended five years of civil war. But despite the
agreement, there were repeated fighting between government
forces and armed groups during the year that refused to obey
the UTO leadership. Many sacrifices were required.
Countryaah, three UN observers and two of their co-workers were
killed in July in a raid in Tajikistan. As a result, the UNMOT observer force temporarily removed all "unnecessary"
foreign personnel from the country.
A prominent opposition leader, Ottachon Latifi, was
assassinated in September in the capital, Dusjanbe.
President Rachmonov decided that the investigation of the
crime should be led by a joint government and opposition
commission. In November, a military uprising broke out in
northwestern Tajikistan. In a week of fierce fighting
between rebels and the army, over a hundred government
soldiers were killed and several hundred people wounded. The
rebels were led by an ethnic Uzbek, and President Rachmonov
accused Uzbekistan of participating in the coup attempt.
Prisoners from the rebel forces are said to have received
military training in Uzbekistan. Uzbek President Islam
Karimov dismissed all charges.
A ban on opposition parties, including the Islamic
parties, were finally repealed in November after fierce
domestic political strife. The ban was introduced during the
civil war and its cancellation was an important element of
the 1997 peace agreement. Tajikistan thus became the only
country in Central Asia where religious parties, such as the
Islamic Revival Party, can operate legally.
During the year, several death sentences were issued,
including for assassination attempts on the president and
for taking hostages.