TASHKENT, Jan 08, (Asia Free Press): The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (RATS-SCO) is ready to provide the necessary assistance to the authorities of Kazakhstan upon request, where massive riots have been staged against high fuel prices, which have led to a state of emergency and the resignation of the government.
In a statement issued by RATS-SCO, the Executive Committee expressed serious concern over the situation in Kazakhstan and support for the decisive measures taken by the country’s leadership to ensure public safety and protect the constitutional order of the republic.
“We are confident that the measures taken by the authorities, law enforcement and special services will make it possible to swiftly neutralize the illegal actions of terrorist and bandit groups and cells. We express deep condolences to the families and friends of the killed servicemen and law enforcement officers who performed their military and official duties,” the statement said.
In Kazakhstan, the protests broke out on Jan 02, when drivers in the city of Zhanaozen in the country’s oil-rich Mangystau region staged demonstrations against huge price hikes for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which later spread to the city of Aktau.
The protests, which started in Atyrau, Aktobe and Oral, where the country’s petroleum and natural gas reserves are located, spread to other corners of Kazakhstan and turned into public demonstrations.
As the protests spread across the country, Kazakh President Tokayev declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the Mangystau region to maintain public security from Jan 5-19. He also imposed a curfew in Almaty, the country’s former capital, where thousands of people had taken to the streets.
After the country worsened, Kazakh President sought help from Russia led military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), which agreed to send an unspecified number of peacekeepers to normalize the tense situation in the South Asian country.