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Tajikistan - Ministry of Defense (MoD)

The initial pattern for Tajikistan's armed forces was similar to that of its neighbors: form a National Guard, establish a National Defense Affairs Committee (NDAC) to oversee nationalization of Soviet units deployed in Tajikistan, and create indigenous units. According to CIA, Tajikistan's National Army now consists of Air and Air Defense Forces, Land Forces and Mobile Forces. The Mobile Force of Tajik Army was founded in 2005 without increase in a total strength of the country’s armed forces. Air and Air-Defense Forces were also united in 2005. Tajikistan’s armed forces also include National Guard and Security Forces (internal and border troops).

Unlike the other former Soviet states of Central Asia, Tajikistan did not form armed forces based upon former Soviet units on its territory. Instead, the Russian Ministry of Defense took control of the Dushanbe-based 201st Motor Rifle Division; actually control simply shifted from the former district headquarters in Tashkent, which was in now-independent Uzbekistan, to Moscow.

For purpose of endurance of independence and defense of territorial integrity of the young state, it was necessary to establish the National Armed Forces and reestablish all military structures. Besides, in order to take measures for stabilization of political and social situation, termination of armed conflicts, crimes and offences, ensuring public order there was an urgent need to establish the National Army. The foundation of the National Armed Forces was built in conditions of absence of necessary technical and financial means, as well as shortage of qualified specialists and command personnel.

On 18 December 1992 the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon signed the Decision “On the Establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan”. On 23 February 1993 the first military parade of the Armed Forces was conducted and that date was officially declared as the Day of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Despite the difficult economic situation, political leadership of the country solved in a very short period the issues of provision of the newly established National Army with military equipment and ammunition. In this regard, first of all, it was very important to fulfill such tasks as establishment of military units, provision of them with military equipment and recruiting personnel, their deployment in strategically important directions and improvement of their fighting efficiency, proceeding from available possibilities.

Real efforts to create a genuine armed forces awaited the appointment of (ethnic Russian) Colonel Alexander Shishlyannikov as Defense Minister in January 1993. A year after independence, Shishlyannikov was still starting from scratch. The government admitted that the call-up of the previous fall was to all intents and purposes wrecked because of the tense socio-political situation. The army would form anew from another call-up of conscripts and existing Popular Front formations.

Russian assistance helped to create a Tajik Defense Ministry, special purpose troops, internal troops, and a helicopter squadron by early 1994. Shishlyannikov hoped to create a "small, highly mobile, professional and dedicated army," but without a viable conscript system he had to rely upon troops of the so-called Popular Front of Tajikistan — paramilitary, pro-communist forces raised during the civil war. It was a poor foundation upon which to build. By April 1995, Tajik armed forces, totalling 11,500, were organized into one incompletely-manned spetnaz (special operations)unit, four infantry battalions, and two motorized rifle brigades.

With the support of OSCE, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has established a National Humanitarian De-mining Unit (HDU). The HDU operates with a capacity of manual multipurpose de-mining teams and Mechanical De-mining Machines. On 20 June, 2003, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan signed the Agreement “Support to the Tajikistan National Mine Action Programme” with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in order to create the Tajik Mine Action Centre (TMAC). This centre is a Governmental structure and is responsible for all mine action related issues in Tajikistan. TMAC is also the executive authority of the Commission on Implementation of International Humanitarian Law (CIIHL) in the country.

In accordance with Article 5 of Ottawa Convention each state party shall to undertake to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than ten years after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party. The Republic of Tajikistan has fulfilled its obligation on destruction of antipersonnel mines stockpile. The total of 3051 APMs has been destroyed in 31 March 2004.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary since the establishment of the Armed Forces of the country, it was noted in February 2013 that over 40 laws, decrees and orders of the President, decisions and orders of the Tajik Government, which govern the core basics of public policy in the field of defense, the powers of the executive bodies of state authority, as well as legal and social protection of servicemen were approved and duly endorsed from the year 2000 and up to 2013.

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