The perestroika process President Mikhail Gorbachov initiated from his inauguration in 1985 caused the ethnic and religious tensions that had been under charge for a long time to explode. In February 1990, the violent clash between Russians and Tajiks came to the capital. According to Countryaah data, they cost over 30 killed and dozens of wounded. The government declared the Republic in exceptional condition, which was retained after the election of the Supreme Soviet (parliament), in which the Communist Party got 90% of the seats. The opposition claimed that the unrest in February had been triggered by the KGB who wanted to destabilize Gorbachov’s reforms and fight the nationalist currents. Islamists and Democrats demanded that the Soviet be dissolved, since it had been elected under exemptions.
Following the events in February, an extensive exodus of Russian and Ukrainian technicians began. As a result, half of the Republic’s hospitals, schools and factories had to close, which drastically worsened the social and economic situation. At the end, Parliament declared its distrust of President Majkamov, accused him of supporting the coups in Moscow that had overthrown Gorbachov, and forced Majkamov to resign. He was temporarily followed by Kadridin Aslonov.
In the wake of the coup attempt against Gorbachov in August 1991, he decided to ban the Communist Party in Tajikistan, but this decision could not be approved in the parliament, dominated by Communists of the Old Guard. They forced Aslonov to resign and replaced him with Rajmón Nabíev as interim president. Nabíev had been the first secretary of the local Communist Party until Gorbachov removed him in 1985. In mid-September, Parliament passed a Declaration of Independence, passed a new constitution, decreed state of emergency and banned the Islamic Rebirth Party.
The religious revival has been far stronger in Tajikistan than in the other former Soviet republics. In the early 1980s, there were 17 mosques in the country; Ten years later, there were 128 as well as 2,800 prayer places, an Islamic institute and 5 centers for religious education. Acc. unofficial information, 60-80% of the country’s population practiced Islam. The Islamic Rebirth Party was formed in the late 1980s and advocates for a state that respects political and religious rights – but based on Islam. It also requires the application of Islamic law, the Sharia. Since 1991, the government has made a number of major Islamic celebrations into official events.
Following widespread protests from the Muslims and interference from Moscow, the state of emergency and the ban on the Communist Party were lifted at the beginning of October 91. In the first presidential election in the new independent state in November, Rajmón Nabíev won by 58% of the vote. Acc. the official electoral commission Davlav Khudonazarov came in second place with 38% of the vote. He was supported by Muslims and Democrats, was a former member of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party and President of the Soviet Acting Federation.
According to thesciencetutor, on December 21, Tajikistan joined the Association of Independent States (CIS) – Soviet successor. At the same time, the Gorno-Badajshán Autonomous Region of the Pamir Mountains declared itself an autonomous republic. In this area, the Shiite branch of Islam is practiced in the same way as in neighboring Afghanistan.
In February 1992, North American Foreign Minister James Baker visited Dusanbe, taking the opportunity to express the West’s concern about the uranium reserves in the region. Together with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Tajikistan has significant deposits of uranium enabling the production of nuclear weapons.
Throughout April and May 1992, clashes occurred in the Republic, prompting Parliament’s President Kendzhaev to resign. On May 7, a coalition government formed of government and opposition representatives was formed, raising this state of emergency.
Yet, outside the capital, Dusanbe, there came a riot of violence between governmental forces and the opposition that developed into a comprehensive civil war. The situation triggered a distrust vote for Nabíev, and he resigned on September 8. Pro-Communist forces in the northern part of the country now embarked on a comprehensive offensive, culminating in December in the appointment of a new government controlled by the People’s Front and the taking of the capital.
The offensive sent 300,000 people fleeing to Afghanistan and a number of former Soviet republics. The persecution and massacres against the opposition diminished only after February 1993.
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The Russian government, led by President Boris Yeltsin, was the first to recognize the new regime led by Imomali Rakhmonov, whom the Russians considered fit to curb Islamists. In March, bombings from Afghanistan were followed by the entry of opposition military units across the border – guarded by Russian troops.