Russia-led security organization to deploy ‘peacekeepers’ to quell protests
The Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has made a decision to deploy “collective peacekeeping forces” to Kazakhstan amid mass public protests against the government there, council chairman and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on Facebook on Jan. 5.
The decision was made following a request by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, over the “threat to the national security and the sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan, including external intervention,” Pashinyan said in his post.
The “peacekeepers” will be deployed to Kazakhstan for a limited period of time “in order to stabilize and normalize the situation in the country,” Pashinyan said.
In addition to Armenia, the CSTO includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The total number of CSTO peacekeeping forces is more than 3,000 people.
In the first days of January, Kazakhstan was engulfed in mass protests.
They had begun due to significant cost rises in liquefied petroleum gas, but later evolved into political demonstrations.
The Kazakh government reacted with mass arrests of protesters, violence, an Internet shutdown, and declared a state of emergency.
On the third day of protests, rallies were banned and a curfew was imposed in Almaty and Almaty province, as well as in the capital Nur-Sultan and the Mangystau region of Kazakhstan.
The Kazakh government resigned on Jan. 5, as law enforcement authorities began to disperse the protesters by force.
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