X
X

Tajikistan’s Ethnic Uzbeks: Poor Like Everyone, But Sidelined More

Ethnic Uzbeks, who make up the largest minority in Tajikistan, complain they are often sidelined by Dushanbe. (Photo: EurasiaNet)

Ask one of the million-plus ethnic Uzbeks living in Tajikistan how bad life is and he’ll quickly admit: It could be worse. Looking across the border into Kyrgyzstan, many give thanks they have been spared the pogroms suffered by Uzbek communities there twice in the last generation. But Uzbeks in Tajikistan often feel that state policy works against them, and sometimes it seems that the best keeper of the peace among ordinary people has been the deplorable poverty common to them all. 

“Uzbeks are consistently marginalized and denied access to economic and political resources,” said Alexander Sodiqov, an instructor at the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University in Dushanbe. One reason is that Tajik officials see the minority -- the country’s largest, at roughly 15 percent of the population -- as a potential fifth column. “The ruling elite is afraid that [neighboring] Uzbekistan might try to use the ethnic Uzbeks living in Tajikistan to try to influence political developments and security in Tajikistan,” Sodiqov said. 

To read the full story

Tajikistan’s Ethnic Uzbeks: Poor Like Everyone, But Sidelined More

1 / 1
X
> <