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Kazakhstan President declares state of emergency over violent protests

By Esther Kalu

Kazakhstan President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has declared 14 days states of emergency effective from January 5 till January 19 in the southeastern city of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s financial capital and the western region of Mangystau.

The order was said to have been necessitated by the chaos Yesterday during a mass protest as police fired tear gas and stun grenades to quell unrest that began in the west of the country over a spike in local prices for Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).

As reported by the presidential website on Wednesday, Tokayev was said to have signed the order for states of emergency in Almaty and the hydrocarbon-rich western region of Mangystau, specifying that a curfew will be in place in both territories from 11:00pm to 7:00am.

Also, Tokayev was said to have had called for a return to order hours earlier in a video posted on Facebook by his press secretary, Berik Uali.

“Don’t submit to provocations from within and without. Do not heed calls to assault government buildings. This is a crime for which you will be punished. The government will not be felled, but we don’t need conflict,” he said..

As gathered, smaller protests had been staged in cities across the republic of 19 million people from Sunday, beginning with the town of Zhanaozen in Mangystau.

Based on eye witness account, police were firing stun grenades and tear gas into a crowd of over five thousand people that grew in size as protesters marched through central streets shouting anti-government slogans and sometimes attacking vehicles.

1 Comment
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