11 Feb 2020 22:13

Nazarbayev orders careful study of reasons behind riots in southern Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN. Feb 11 (Interfax) - First Kazakh president and Chairman of the Security Council Nursultan Nazarbayev has expressed concern about the situation in the Kordai district of the Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan, where mass riots took place.

"I'm deeply concerned by the current situation," the website for the first president cited Nazarbayev as saying at a session of the Security Council on Tuesday.

Kazakhstan suffered serious difficulties in the social and economic spheres after gaining independence, Nazarbayev said.

"Together with our people, we've been through a great deal of difficulties in these 30 years. The youth cannot even imagine these issues. In Kazakhstan, 130 enterprises suspended their work, 2.5 million people lost their jobs and salaries, there was no heating in houses, and food was scarce. We got through all of that together," he said.

"If we had failed to unite our multi-ethnic people and ensure stability, foreign investments would not have come to our country today, and the economy would not have worked. Of course, relevant tasks were set to public leaders, but preserving peace and accord is, first and foremost, the responsibility of our people," Nazarbayev said.

He ordered a thorough study of the reasons behind the current situation and that those responsible be punished in accordance with the law.

"The older generation should be concerned about this issue. My goal as the leader of the nation is bringing Kazakhstan to such a high level that future generations are proud of it. The mission of the older generation lies in explaining to people that our common task is maintaining an independent, developed, and stable country," Nazarbayev said.

The government and the akimat (administration) of the region are currently taking measures to restore normal life to the affected populated localities at the order of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, he said.

According to the press service, special emphasis has also been placed on the quality of the performance of local executive and law enforcement agencies, the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, and its regional branches.

"The Assembly and its regional offices should take a proactive role and monitor similar situations. It's our common task," Nazarbayev said.

Zhambyl region akim Berdibek Saparbayev and Interior Minister Yerlan Turgumbayev gave detailed reports during the session.

As part of discussions on the issue, central, state, and local executive authorities "were given instructions on the further implementation of programs aimed at resolving socio-economic issues in the regions of the country, including in ensuring employment of the population and infrastructure development, as well as the renovation and construction of social facilities," Nazarbayev's press service said.

Nazarbayev extended his condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the Kordai district and wished a speedy recovery to all those injured.

A brawl broke out between local residents in the village of Masanchi in the Kordai district of the Zhambyl region last Friday, escalating into mass unrest, which subsequently spread to the Aukhatty and Bolanbatyr villages and claimed the lives of ten people. More than 170 people sought medical attention. Several dozen homes, shops, and cars were burned or destroyed.

A criminal case was opened on counts of murder and organization of mass unrest. An emergency was declared in the Kordai district in the evening of February 8.