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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
12 January 2006

TAJIKISTAN: Year in Brief 2005 - Chronology of key events

DUSHANBE, 12 Jan 2006 (IRIN) -

January February March April
May June July August
September October November December


19 January - Training of hundreds of polling station workers is under way in Tajikistan, ahead of parliamentary elections in the Central Asia state scheduled for 27 February. Mirzoali Boltuyev, head of Tajikistan's Central Election Committee (CEC), told IRIN in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, that the quality of parliamentary elections depended on preparatory work and highlighted the need to train election staff on how to run the poll fairly and legally.

25 January - The infant mortality rate is going up in northern Tajikistan, health officials say, citing poor socioeconomic conditions in the country. Of the 48,997 births officially registered in the region in 2004, there were 1,037 deaths of infants under one. This means the province has an infant mortality rate of 21.2 per 1,000 live births. In 2003, the rate in the province of Sogd stood at 13.5 cases per 1,000 live births. Even these figures, however, may underestimate the truth. Tajik health officials conceded that not all cases of deaths, especially of infant ones, were reported by local families.

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9 February - Warmer temperatures have increased the risk of further avalanches in Tajikistan, where hundreds of snow-slides have occurred over the past 10 days, the UN warned on Wednesday. "The risk has definitely increased," Ole Ramsing, manager of the United Nations Disaster Risk Management Project (DRMP) in Tajikistan told IRIN from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, noting some 2,800 people had already been evacuated by the authorities. While most roads were open, people throughout much of the former Soviet republic were being advised not to travel unnecessarily, Ramsing said, with those evacuated living in public buildings or staying with relatives.

16 February - The damage caused by a spate of avalanches that hit Tajikistan over the past two weeks is estimated to be around US $3 million, according to the Tajik emergency ministry. "Based on preliminary estimates, the damage is currently estimated to be some $3 million," Abdurakhim Rajabov, deputy emergency minister, told IRIN from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on Wednesday. Jamilya Tilloeva, a ministry spokeswoman, told IRIN that the number of casualties stood at 12, including two children.

28 February - The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has criticised Sunday's parliamentary elections in Tajikistan, saying they fell short of international standards. "The whole election process did not meet the expectations for transparent and democratic elections in Tajikistan," Peter Eicher, head of the electoral observer mission from the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), said on Monday in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, announcing the preliminary findings of his mission. "The election process is assessed as unsatisfactory."

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21 April - Landmines continue to remain a source of concern in Tajikistan, particularly in the north, with the number of mine victims in the area increasing over the past few months, according to mine action officials. "The issue of landmines remains complicated, particularly on the Uzbek border in the north," Jonmakhmad Rajabov, head of the Tajik Mine Action Centre (TMAC), told IRIN in the capital, Dushanbe, at the meeting of the advisory committee of donor countries and organisations supporting demining efforts in the country on Thursday.

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12 May - A week of heavy rain in Tajikistan has damaged hundreds of houses and destroyed crops and transport infrastructure in the former Soviet republic, according to officials. "The country suffered extensive damage because of heavy rains and flooding since 7 May," Mirzo Ziyoyev, the Tajik emergency ministry, told journalists on Wednesday in the capital, Dushanbe. According to the emergency ministry, more than 660 houses and 12 km of roads were destroyed by flooding, as well as 320 hectares of cotton and other crops. Half a dozen bridges have been washed away along with electricity pylons and telegraph poles.

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28 June - The border of Takikistan and Uzbekistan is a dangerous place. Mines have claimed the lives of scores of local residents and similar numbers have been injured in recent years. Now a team of deminers have completed a mine risk assessment of the Uzbek border region as a prelude to demining the area. "We have completed a mine hazard assessment of the Tajik-Uzbek border this month," Parviz Mavlonkulov, an operations coordinator with the Tajik Mine Action Centre (TMAC), said from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on Tuesday.

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18 July - Residents in southern Tajikistan are still reeling after heavy flooding over the past two months continued on Monday. "Water levels are not expected to decrease at least until Wednesday and it's more than likely that further flooding will occur," Ole Ramsing, project manager for the United Nations Disaster Risk Management Project (UNDRMP) warned from the Tajik, capital, Dushanbe. UNDRMP supports information collection and dissemination in affected areas. Already some 12,000 people had been affected by the flooding, with more than 10,000 evacuated, primarily in the southern Tajik districts of Penjikent and Hamadoni, explained Ramsing.

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23 August - The Tajik national demining body needs at least half a million US dollars in funding in order to establish a dog demining centre. The centre would form an important part of Tajikistan's efforts to clear millions of mines in the former Soviet republic by 2010."We need US $500,000 in order to implement the programme on demining mined areas in Tajikistan with the help of demining dogs," Parviz Mavlonkulov, deputy head of the Tajik Mine Action Centre (TMAC), said on Tuesday in the capital Dushanbe.

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7 September - Demining work is set to expand in Tajikistan, with two demining teams, newly trained by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), joining the mountainous Central Asian nation’s mine action body. "Both groups have been sent to their duty areas and will work there until the first snow," Parviz Mavlonkulov, deputy of the Tajik Mine Action Centre (TMAC) said in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Wednesday.

16 September - Despite 14 years of independence, the mountainous state of Tajikistan has much work ahead of it before it can claim a free and independent press, observers say. Marred by scandal and legal skirmishes, journalists continue to complain that their ability to work unhindered is threatened. In the latest incident to rock the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, Muhtor Bokizoda, chairman of the Foundation for the Memory and Protection of Journalists (FMPJ) and editor of the independent opposition newspaper "Nerui Sukhan" (Power of the Word), received a two-year sentence at the end of August for alleged misuse of electricity and tax evasion - a charge he flatly denies.

31 September - Uzbek security forces have demined the country’s eastern border with Kyrgyzstan, with work under way to clear landmines from the Tajik part of the Uzbek border as well, officials said on Monday. Kyrgyz border units in the southern province of Batken have completed inspections of minefields near the border settlements of Chonkara, Ak-Turpak and Otukchu, which were cleared by Uzbek demining squads, and confirmed that the border was now landmine-free.

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8 November - Independent media are under increasing pressure in Tajikistan as the government tightens its grip by enforcing tougher procedures to register new newspapers, radio and television stations, activists say. Local civic group FIDES submitted an application to the justice ministry in early October to register its new television channel ‘Markaz’. At the end of the same month their application was turned down, FIDES activists said on Tuesday in the capital, Dushanbe.

23 November - The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Tajikistan rose by 20.5 percent over the nine months to September 2005 compared to the same period last year, the head of the Republican AIDS Centre, Azamjon Mirzoev, said in the capital, Dushanbe, this week. The quantity of non-registered individuals with HIV could be much higher, Mirzoev added. "There are 454 HIV-infected individuals in Tajikistan or 6.8 individuals per 100 thousand people in the country. We have infected people in 38 regions of Tajikistan," he said. But the real number of HIV-infected people is difficult to determine because of poor monitoring in the poorest ex-Soviet state.

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9 December - Gender groups in Tajikistan will receive US $100,000 in assistance in 2006 from the United Nations to improve implementation of legislation aimed at curbing violence against women, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) mission in the country said on Friday. "Tajikistan’s association of NGOs on prevention of violence against women, which includes five organisations, has won the grant - it is the only group amongst the Commonwealth of Independent States [CIS] countries," Nargis Azizova, a gender advisor for UNIFEM in Tajikistan, said in the capital, Dushanbe.

13 December - Some 1,800 anti-personnel mines have been neutralised in Tajikistan this year, the Tajik Mine Action Centre, responsible for the clearance, said on Tuesday. Cold weather means the demining season is now at an end in the mountainous Central Asian nation. Mines killed at least 17 people and injured many more this year. Almost all the victims were civilians collecting fire wood or grazing cattle along the border with neighbouring Uzbekistan. Two border guards perished from mines at the end of November on the Tajik-Afghan border, TMAC noted.

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This material comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but May not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2006

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