Regional Overview: Central Asia and the Caucasus
6-12 September 2020

Last week in Central Asia and the Caucasus, the long-awaited intra-Afghan talks began in Doha, Qatar, amid persistent violence in Afghanistan. In Kazakhstan, different labor groups staged protests demanding better labor rights, while claims of police torture continued to spark protests in Georgia’s South Ossetia region. Another political party was excluded from the upcoming elections…

Regional Overview: Central Asia and the Caucasus
2 August-5 September 2020

Over the last month, key developments in Central Asia and the Caucasus include progress in Afghanistan’s upcoming peace talks, alongside ongoing violence, an IS resurgence, and clashes with Pakistan. In Kazakhstan, protests took place due to the economic and social impact of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The worsening economy also sparked rare protests in Turkmenistan.…

Regional Overview: Central Asia and the Caucasus
28 June-4 July 2020

Last week in Central Asia, clashes between Afghan forces resulted in further civilian fatalities as coronavirus cases increased both in the country and reportedly within the Afghan army. In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, governments reintroduced coronavirus restrictions, followed by protests by various groups in both countries. Meanwhile, unrest continued along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. In the Caucasus,…

Regional Overview: Central Asia and the Caucasus
21-27 June 2020

Last week in Central Asia and the Caucasus, ongoing violence and new intelligence reports once again overshadowed approaching peace talks in Afghanistan, as unidentified groups targeted civilians. Restrictions on freedom of speech and media caused unrest in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, while ceasefire violations continued on the Armenia-Azerbaijan-Artsakh Lines of Contact.  In Afghanistan, fighting between…

Regional Overview: Central Asia and the Caucasus
14-20 June 2020

Last week in Central Asia and the Caucasus, a spike in deadly clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban overshadowed the peace process, with civilians targeted amid the fighting. The number of coronavirus cases surged in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, resulting in new restrictions, while authorities violently enforced pandemic-related regulations in Uzbekistan. The first anniversary of…

Regional Overview: Central Asia and the Caucasus
31 May – 6 June 2020

Last week in Central Asia and the Caucasus, clashes between Taliban and Afghan forces continued at lower levels in Afghanistan; opposition protests took place all over Kazakhstan; and fresh rounds of violence along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek-Tajik border resulted in casualties. Armenia and Azerbaijan continued to struggle with the coronavirus crisis, restricting movement for foreigners, as ceasefire…

Everlasting or Ever-Changing? Violence Along the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan Border

In the volatile region of the Ferghana valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan converge (see map below), violent confrontations between locals and state forces have been a longstanding concern. Disputes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are particularly frequent as almost half of the 971-kilometer-long border territory remains contested, creating challenges for local populations…

Regional Overview: Central Asia and the Caucasus
17-30 May 2020

During the past two weeks in Central Asia and the Caucasus, deadly clashes continued in Afghanistan, though an unexpected truce by the Taliban decreased violence significantly. Protests related to coronavirus measures continued in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as new regulations on civil society organizations and public events caused unrest in both countries. Border violence continued between…