Capital : Dushanbe
Size: 55 200 sq m Popn: 5 465 000
The modern Tajiks are descended from the Mongol invaders of the C13th but speak a Persian language. They were conquered by Russia in 1877-1900 and in 1924, the Tajik areas of Bokhara and Turkestan were formed into a constituent republic of the Soviet Union.
The Brezhnev-appointed Communist Party of Tajikistan leader, Rakhman Nabiyev, was removed by Gorbachev in 1985. The Tajik sense of identity was revived during the 1980s, a Rastakhiz ('Revival') Popular Front was formed in 1989 and there were serious ethnic clashes in Dushanbe during 1990. At first, the CPT supported the coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991 but after pro-democracy demonstrations in Dushanbe forced conservative leader Kakhar Makhkamov to resign, acting president, Kadreddin Aslonov, declared independence in September. The CPT, renamed the Socialist Party of Tajikistan, was banned but this was overturned a day later by the Supreme Soviet, a state of emergency was imposed and Aslonov was replaced by Nabiyev. After a week of protests, hunger strikes and civil disobedience organized by the Union of Democratic Forces,, he was forced to suspend the SPT again, legalize opposition parties and lift the state of emergency. He resigned as president but easily won the direct elections of November but was accused of vote-rigging by the opposition and outside observers.
In December 1991, Tajikistan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States which replaced the USSR. It joined the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in January 1992, and the UN in March, gaining diplomatic recognition from the USA. In February, it also became part of the Economic Co-operation Organization founded by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan with the aim of forming a customs union. Public unrest continued and Nabiyev was forced into a coalition with opposition leaders, resigning in September 1992.
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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