The Intel Hub
December 30, 2011
ASTANA (BNO NEWS) — Prosecutors in Kazakhstan have launched an investigation into the use of weapons by police during a protest earlier this month, leaving more than a dozen people killed and many others injured.
The clashes erupted on December 16 as the Central Asian nation marked the 20th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union. Police moved in to clear the main square in the town of Zhanaozen for independence celebrations but were charged by the oil workers, who have been demanding higher wages for months.
As a result of the incident, at least sixteen people were killed and more than 80 others were injured. But protesters and witnesses claimed police opened fire on unarmed protesters, and one eyewitness told the BBC how an unarmed man died in her arms after being shot.
A spokeswoman for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Virginie Coulloudon, told CNN on Thursday that the government of Kazakhstan has informed OSCE that its general prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into police actions. The internal security department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has also launched an in-house investigation.
“The conclusions of this investigation, according to Kazakh sources, should be available within a week,” Coulloudon told CNN via email.
The Kazakh general prosecutor’s office said in a statement on its website on Thursday that 20 people had been detained over alleged involvement in the unrest, with 18 of the arrests ordered by a court. A criminal case was opened on Tuesday into the alleged excessive use of force by police who opened fire. However, it noted that some of the deaths were not related to the actions of law enforcement.
by Sibel Edmonds
December 13, 2011
Geostrategy on the New Silk Road
The large, sparsely-populated nation of Kazakhstan has become in recent years the poster child of a new type of geopolitics: celebrating only its 20th year since declaring independence from the Soviet Union, with a population of just 16 million, this unlikely Central Asian state is gradually becoming a dominant player in the region for its rich oil and gas reserves and its strategic position as a key land bridge between Europe and Asia.
Part of the so-called “New Silk Road” countries facilitating trade between East Asia and Western Europe, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are assuming a new role in international relations as they become more important in trans-continental trade and as their energy resources are opened up to foreign business interests. Chief amongst these emerging lynchpin countries is Kazakhstan, a nation whose international star is rising as it adds its recent chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the world’s largest regional security pact, to its growing list of organizational affiliations, including its seat at the UN, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as its partnership action plan with NATO.
This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett, presenting Kazakhstan, its vast untapped oil, gas and mineral reserves resources, the fierce competition between the US, China and Russia for access to its resources and transportation corridors, the tug-of-war of sorts that is happening as the country positions itself in an emerging power struggle between the East and West, and the role of Islamic radicalism as a proxy strike force to be funded, armed, trained, and used by the West for terrorizing the country should they stray too far from Washington’s agenda.
Watch the Preview Here: