Uzbekistan: President Heads Up Security Bodies With Loyalists
The president of Uzbekistan has reshuffled senior security officials, appointing loyalists as head of the police and army in a move that will be seen as an effort to bolster his grip over power.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev on September 4 named Pulat Bobojonov as Interior Minister, replacing an official who will head up the Defense Ministry. Bobojonov, 56, has been governor of the Khorezm region since 2012, but he does have a background in law enforcement, having previously served as prosecutor for the Bukhara region. And prior to that, between 2006 and 2011, he was chief prosecutor in Mirziyoyev’s native Jizzakh region.
Outgoing Interior Minister Abdusalom Azizov replaces Kabul Berdiyev as head of the Defense Ministry. Berdiyev, 62, who had been in his job since 2008, will take over as head of the Armed Forces Academy.
Berdiyev was a trusted ally of the late president, Islam Karimov, and is credited with overseeing the incremental consolidation of the Uzbek army as a serious military force. His time in charge was also accompanied by a notable expansion in welfare benefits and raises in salaries for army personnel.
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