After the country was rocked in unprecedented upheaval in recent days, Kazakhstan’s president said on Friday that constitutional order had been “mostly restored.”
“A counter-terrorist operation has begun. Law enforcement authorities are putting in a lot of effort. In most parts of the country, constitutional order has been restored. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s spokesperson cited him as stating on Friday, “Local authorities are in charge of the issue.”
“Terrorists are still using weapons and destroying people’s property,” the president said, adding that “counter-terrorism efforts” should continue.
Since Kazakhstan’s independence three decades ago, the nation has seen its worst public protests. The protests began over a near-doubling of rates for a particular type of motor gasoline and swiftly extended across the country, reflecting broader dissatisfaction with the same party’s leadership since independence.
Government buildings have been set on fire, and hundreds of demonstrators and more than a dozen law enforcement officials have been slain.
On Thursday, the government offered a 180-day price restriction on car gasoline and a freeze on utility rate hikes as a compromise. Tokayev has wavered between attempting to appease the demonstrators by accepting his government’s resignation and threatening strong measures to stop the disturbance, which he blames on “terrorist gangs.”
The president has requested assistance from a Russian-led military alliance, which is considered as one such action.
The former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which has begun deploying soldiers to Kazakhstan for a peacekeeping mission.
Officials in Kazakhstan have stated that the soldiers will not be attacking the protesters.