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L’escalade vers la violence intercommunautaire

February 1990 Riots in Tajikistan. Who Was Behind the Scenes? Review of the Main Existing Versions

Les événements de 1990 à Douchanbé : qui était en coulisse ? Examen des principales versions
Февральские события 1990 года в Таджикистане: кто стоял за кулисами? Обзор основных существующих версий
Parviz Mullojanov
p. 247-272

Abstracts

The series of large-scale disturbances that took place in Dushanbe in February 1990 are considered today as one of the most violent public disorders of the last decade of the Soviet Union. According to official data, the riots were caused by the spread of rumours suggesting that several thousand Armenian refugees were provided with housing at the expense of local families. However, the disturbances almost immediately assumed an open anti-government and political character leading to street violence and clashes.

There has been little in-depth coverage of the February events. Despite a growing number of publications, there is still a rather vague understanding of the causes and internal and external driving forces. All investigation commissions and journalists have agreed that these events were not spontaneous but rather the result of a well-planned and thoroughly organised action. However, none of the official investigations have provided an answer to the most important question: what forces were behind the events? who organised the disturbances? how, and for what reasons? With this in mind, the aim of this paper is to explore and analyse the different interpretations of the February events.

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on November 2017.

Outline

Introduction: Political Situation on the Eve of the February 1990 Events
The Sequence of February 1990 Events
The Aftermath of the February 1990 Events
Official Investigations of the February Events
An Analysis of the Main Versions and Possible Scenarios
Version 1: Rastokhez and National Democrat Leaders
Version 2: Tajik Islamists
Version 3: Top Level Officials
Version 4: the KGB Central Apparatus.
Conclusions

First lines

Introduction: Political Situation on the Eve of the February 1990 Events

The major political event at the end of the perestroika (1985-1991) in the Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Tajikistan was the elections for the Supreme Soviet (Parliament) of the republic, scheduled for March 1990. In many senses, it was a turning point in the country’s political life because, for the first time, the elections were supposed to have a relatively free character due to the weakened domination of the ruling Communist Party (CP). It is worth noting that by the end of perestroika, the republic was in deep economic crisis, which considerably raised the level of social tension. The call for elections gave reasonable hope to the leaders of the opposition movement Rastokhez and its supporters of entering the Supreme Soviet as a separate and influential oppositional faction. The previous year was considered as one of the most successful for the movement. The democrats considerably expanded their network...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Parviz Mullojanov, « February 1990 Riots in Tajikistan. Who Was Behind the Scenes? Review of the Main Existing Versions », Cahiers d’Asie centrale, 26 | 2016, 247-272.

Electronic reference

Parviz Mullojanov, « February 1990 Riots in Tajikistan. Who Was Behind the Scenes? Review of the Main Existing Versions », Cahiers d’Asie centrale [Online], 26 | 2016, Online since 01 November 2017, connection on 29 May 2017. URL : http://asiecentrale.revues.org/3338

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About the author

Parviz Mullojanov

Parviz Mullojanov (Mullojonov) is a senior adviser of the International Alert office in Tajikistan and chairman of the Board of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) in Tajikistan. He was a member of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue, a peaceful international civil initiative during the civil war in Tajikistan, and a member of the eucam (eu and Central Asia Monitoring) research group. He worked for various international agencies and organisations such as Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, the un Refugee Agency, the un Development Programme and the Asian Development Bank. Parviz Mullojanov received his PhD in Islamic studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Contact: okpdv@list.ru

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