Rakhmon claims thousands of fighters on the southern borders of CSTO countries

There are over 6,000 militants on the southern borders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in the northeast of Afghanistan. This was stated by President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon at the organization’s extraordinary summit on the situation in Kazakhstan, held on Monday, January 10.

“Overall, according to Tajikistan’s special services, the number of camps and terrorist training centers bordering the southern borders of the CSTO in the north-eastern provinces of Afghanistan is over 40, and their number reaches over 6,000 fighters,” Rahmon noted.

Earlier in the day, Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev thanked Russian leader Vladimir Putin for his help amid the turmoil in the country. In turn, Putin said that the member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization will not allow the situation at home to stir up and will not allow “colored revolutions.

At the same time, on the same day, Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador in Washington, connected mass disturbances in Kazakhstan with the development of extremist ideas in the region after the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan. According to him, “thousands of jihadists and marauders tried to undermine the constitutional order” in Kazakhstan.

Protests in Kazakhstan began on January 2. The protesters protested against the increase in the price of liquefied gas. Soon the protests escalated into riots. The situation especially escalated in the largest city of the country, Alma-Ata. Protesters stormed the administration building and set fire to the prosecutor’s office and the president’s residence. The troublemakers armed themselves and began looting, destroying stores, drugstores and banks in the city. They vandalized the offices of five TV channels, attempted to attack a pre-trial detention facility and made an attempt to break into a military unit in Aktobe region.

On this basis, Tokayev appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO, which includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan) for help in overcoming the terrorist threat. Peacekeepers were sent to the republic for a limited period.

On January 9, the collective peacekeeping forces of the CSTO completed their deployment in Kazakhstan. Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO peacekeepers, stressed that the mission will continue to work in the republic until the situation is fully stabilized. A day later, Kazakhstani Secretary of State Yerlan Karin said that the CSTO forces would provide local protection of vital facilities.