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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
13 January 2006

KAZAKHSTAN: Year in Brief 2005 - Chronology of key events

ASTANA, 13 Jan 2006 (IRIN) - 6 January - Warm weather caused the Syrdarya river to burst its banks in southern Kazakhstan on Tuesday, although no settlements in the area were affected, the emergency agency of Kazakhstan said on Thursday. "Currently the situation is under control and routine water discharge [from the Chardara reservoir upstream], which is now 700 cu m per second, is under way," Kayrat Tarbaev, a spokesman for the emergency agency, said from the Kazakh capital, Astana, on Thursday. According to the emergency agency, unexpectedly warm weather caused ice to melt and water to wash away banks of the Syrdarya river - one of the major water sources in Central Asia - in Karmakshin, Zhalagash and Syrdarya districts of the southern Kzyl-Orda province. "The washing away of banks was caused by water flowing over the ice cover," Tarbaev explained.

23 August - Efforts to mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan are proceeding well, despite an increase in rates of sexual transmission. Central Asia's largest state enjoys a relatively low prevalence of the disease. "In general, our assessment of the situation is positive," said Valery Chernyavskiy, portfolio manager for Kazakhstan's grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, speaking from Geneva. "They are using the national programme and working very closely with their partners - both local and international," he said, referring to the work of the Kazakh government.

14 November - The mysterious death over the weekend of an outspoken critic of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has prompted calls for an independent investigation, less than a month before the country's upcoming presidential elections. "The circumstances are extremely suspicious," Eugeniy Zhovtis, director of Kazakhstan's International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, said from the commercial capital, Almaty, on Monday, calling for a thorough and independent inquiry into his death.

5 December - Despite improvements in the election process prior to Sunday's presidential polls in Kazakhstan, the elections failed to meet international standards for democratic elections, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observation mission said on Monday. "Regrettably, despite some efforts which were undertaken to improve the process, the authorities did not exhibit sufficient political will to hold a genuinely good election that is in line with international standards," Bruce George, head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and coordinator for the short-term election observers, said in a statement.


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