Tashkent Promoting Inter-Ethnic Unity, But Strengthening Security Forces Just in Case
The recent ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan has President Islam Karimov’s administration in Tashkent worried about the possibility of ethnic unrest in Uzbekistan. To make sure ethnic passions remain in check, Uzbek leaders have launched a wide-scale propaganda campaign. But just in case the government message doesn’t get through, officials are beefing up the Central Asian nation’s already formidable security forces.
State-controlled television channels in recent weeks have featured reports that convey a strong sense of stability concerning inter-ethnic relations in Uzbekistan, and which downplay the possibility of the kind of violent episode that engulfed southern Kyrgyzstan in mid-June. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
The mantra that the government clearly wishes to convey is; ‘all is well in Uzbekistan.’
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