The issue of rising fuel prices in ex-Soviet Republic nation Kazakhastan resulted in what can be said today as nation burning with citizens outrage seen from the intensity of protests on the government offices. The security forces so far have killed several protesters escalating the situation in the nation which is lacking administration.
Violence In Kazakhstan
The protesting citizens have rampaged on the streets and shops resulting in the destruction of infrastructure. The videos are viral on social media about the violence being spread in the nation. There is chaos in the former capital city Almaty with citizens screaming, and are in fear of what might happen next. Concerns are raised international fraternity of the situation in Kazakhstan.
Reason Behind The Unrest
A few days ago, the government of Kazakhstan gave its resignation to the authoritarian president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev after the fuel prices were hiked in the energy-rich nation. The country once known for its stability which attracted foreign investors in its oil production today is facing the worst protests and unrest ever in the nation.
Situation In Kazakhstan
As per the reports the police have used tear gas to stop the agitators however that did not work. The protestors became even more aggressive. On the other hand, it has also urged the citizens to stay at home and to cooperate with the law enforcement team. the cases of vandalization of restaurants, shops, banks were filed at several places in the city.
The outrage was sparked because the government lifted price controls on LPG which will affect the citizens as a major population of Kazakhastan own LPG vehicles as their prices were cheap earlier. The LPG was added in the category of ‘socially important’ consumer goods along with gasoline, diesel. As soon as the price control was lifted on the LPG the prices were doubled which resulted in the anguish of the citizens.
Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)
Considering the graveness of the situation the president has asked for help from its old ally Russia. It has asked Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) comprising of five ex-soviet nations led by Russia for help to combat protestors which are termed by the Kazakhstan officials as ‘terrorist groups.’ In its response CSTO head, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has assured to assist Kazakhastan in bringing peace in the nation.
A two-week state of emergency has been declared by president Tokayev at the riot-hit places to bring the situation under control. However, the fuel price hike is not the only reason for the anger. There are several other reasons like increasing income inequality, demand for democracy, etc have added to the anguish amongst the citizens. There is also a restriction of citizens’ freedom in the country.
An interim prime minister Alikhan Smailov has been by the president to handle the mayhem in the nation. He has assured that he will work on the reduction of the prices of fuel. That will help to bring stability to the region. As per the reports in his address to the nation he said, the interim government is likely to introduce a price cap of 50 tenges (about 8p) a liter on LPG, approximately half the current market price.