Africa-Press – Ghana. Moscow,Jan 10, (dpa/GNA) – A Russian-led military alliance plans to discuss the situation in Kazakhstan on Monday, following unprecedented unrest in which 2,000 people were reportedly injured and nearly 8,000 detained.
The member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) are planning a video link from Moscow for this purpose, according to Kremlin reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to take part in the talks. The Kremlin says the alliance will discuss “measures to normalize the situation” in Kazakhstan.
Besides Russia and Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are also members of the alliance. Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, asked the CSTO for help after mass rioting broke out in the authoritarian former Soviet republic.
The organization has said it wants to remain in the country until the situation is “completely stabilized.” More than 160 have been reported dead in the violence, a figure provided in a state media report citing the Health Ministry, although the report was later deleted without a reason being provided.
Some 2,000 people were injured in the riots, according to Monday’s figures. Flags flew at half mast as the country marked a national day of mourning on Monday, according to Kazinform state news agency.
Nearly 8,000 people were detained amid the unrest, according to the authorities. The Interior Ministry said 7,939 people were taken into custody, with 207 detained at two markets in Almaty alone.
However, people in Kazakhstan were able to access the internet on Monday after it was intermittently shut down amid the unrest, hindering independent verification of the situation on the ground.
Kazakhstan, which borders Russia and China, has been gripped by unrest for a week. The anti-government protests grew out of resentment over increased fuel prices at petrol stations in the oil and gas-rich country.
Alongside peaceful demonstrations, there were also violent riots, especially in the city Almaty. In response to the crisis, Tokayev declared a state of emergency, dismissed the government and ordered the military to shoot at demonstrators without warning.