Kazakhstan says ‘attempted coup’ foiled, order restored
Nur-Sultan, Jan 10 (EFE).- Kazakhstan’s constitutional order has been restored after an attempted coup was thwarted, president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Monday.
The Central Asian nation has been gripped by unrest since January 2 after mass protests broke out over a fuel price hike in the oil and gas-rich country. Dozens have been reported dead in the violent uprising.
“Order has been fully restored in Kazakhstan. Threats to the security of the country have been repelled,” said Tokayev during a video link with leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), including Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Tokayev described the unprecedented unrest as an “attempted coup,” and thanked the Russian-led CSTO military alliance for sending a 2,030-strong peacekeeping contingent to the former Soviet republic.
In addition to Russia and Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are also members of the alliance.
Putin said the CSTO troops will be completely pulled out of Kazakhstan once they accomplish their mission.
“I want to highlight that (it will be) for a limited period of time, whatever the president of Kazakhstan deems appropriate,” Putin added.
The Kazakh leader, meanwhile, said the aggression was mainly targeting Almaty, the country’s largest city and financial hub.
“The fall of this city would have opened the way to seize the entire densely populated south and then the entire country. The terrorists were counting on distracting the security forces and then attacking the capital of Kazakhstan,” Tokayev continued.
He also pointed out that those who organized the “terrorist war” against the state prepared several stages of aggression.
“In the first stage (…) there were peaceful protests. Later, political rallies were held in Almaty, in particular, then on the city from three directions, like a huge pack of hyenas, armed guerrillas launched themselves,” he stressed.
The wave of protests is considered the worst since Kazakhstan became independent during the dissolution of the Soviet Union 30 years ago.EFE