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Dateline, Dushanbe: Focus on 'stateless persons'

Dateline, Dushanbe: Focus on 'stateless persons'

Thirty-three officials representing four Central Asian states, the European Union, and the UN High Commission on Refugees held a meeting called “Institutional and Capacity-Building Activities to strengthen the Asylum System in Central Asia”.  A stateless person is any person living without state acknowledgement.  In underserved outlying areas, these may be children without birth certificates; a great […]

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Casual Friday: Ilya Repin–Wanderer, Artist

Casual Friday: Ilya Repin–Wanderer, Artist

Strictly speaking, Mr.Repin's work does not belong in a Central Asia blog.  Ilya Repin was an ethnic Russian who grew up in the Ukraine and eventually settled in Belarus.  Yet Mr. Repin painted a series of four works that described the conflict between Tsarist secret police and Russian revolutionaries that still resonates today.  For our time, this series shows […]

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Teach a Man to Farm Fish . . .

Although African agriculture is often underdeveloped, there exist many possibilities for maximizing the continent's resources. According to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: With food security often at the mercy of erratic weather patterns, Southern Africa could bank on its “tremendous” potential to farm fish to sustain its predominantly […]

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A Radical AIDS Plan?

Over at The New Republic John Talbott has a rather radical suggestion for how to end AIDS in Africa: “Compulsory testing and notification of every citizen.” Talbott is not a medical doctor nor is he an Africanist — his tagline lists him as “an author, former investman banker for Goldman Sachs, and former visiting scholar […]

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Tajikistan: Economic weather report– variable winds, light rain

Tajikistan: Economic weather report– variable winds, light rain

Though Foreign Minister Zafiri has stated that Tajikistan has an “open door policy” to foreign investment, barriers do remain: A. Two official comments from the United States: On April 13, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Evan Feigenbaum announced that Tajikistan's investment climate is hindered by its high level of […]

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Trial delay for telecom exec Mark Seidenfeld

Trial delay for telecom exec Mark Seidenfeld

A universal picture of human rights treats each profession equally in the call for due process of law.  Yet human rights organizations focus upon the treatment of journalists in repressive regimes for good reasons.  First, the treatment of journalists reflects our own belief in the importance of steady, trustworthy information.  Second, examining the treatment of […]

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More Quick Hits

I’m back from a week in England and am still absolutely buried with email and work and deadlines. But here are a lot of links on some of the crucial issues facing Africa and Africans: The online news editor of The Economist is in Zimbabwe trying to get a feel for things there, to stay […]

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Uzbekistan: HRW granted 6-month extension

An event that has implications for EU position on Uzbekistan's “softening” of human rights violations; An event which may aid Umida Niyazova in her ongoing trial for border violations and accepting money from foreign news agencies; Human Rights Watch has had their residency re-affirmed for another six months.

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Turkmenistan plays hard to get in Russia

Turkmenistan plays hard to get in Russia

For energy strategists around the Caspian: Sergei Blagov has written an article about President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's two day visit to Russia.  President B. declined to rubber-stamp President Putin's offers for increased energy cooperation.  I don't even want to muddy the waters by commenting further.  You can read the article at Eurasianet, linked here. For background, read my […]

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Goldman Prize to Mongolian Environmentalist

Tsetseegee Munkhbayar received a top award for environmental activism yesterday, for initiating and building the Onggi River Movement.  Mr. Munkhbayar is a self-educated yak herdsman who has insisted upon accountability in Mongolia's mining industry. The story has captured international attention and can be found at Taipei Times, al-Jazeera, and elsewhere. The Goldman Prize Organization web site […]

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Kazakhstan Military: Slow Dance in Minefield

Kazakhstan Military: Slow Dance in Minefield

President Nazarbaev's diplomatic agility remains critical in Kazakhstan's military affairs.  New military reform efforts have been bolstered this year, showing that Kazakhstan intends to glide past both domestic and international constraints with as much friendliness, and as many partners, as possible.  Domestic issues Early this year, Kazakh Defense Minister Mukhtar Altynbaev was recalled from his post.  Through April, Kazakhstan's […]

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Turkmenistan: contracting new medical centers

Turkmenistan: contracting new medical centers

If this comes to fruition, it is the best news of the day: According to official news reports, a Turkish construction firm has been awarded a Multiple Award Construction Contract (MACC) for building mother and child wellness "Ene Myahri" centers in Mary (Merv), Lebap, Dashuguz, and Balkan.  These four cities are the capitals of Turkmenistan's […]

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Kyrgyzstan, April 19: Apres le purge — Opposition's "decisive day" backfires

Kyrgyzstan, April 19: Apres le purge — Opposition's "decisive day" backfires

Last Thursday, April 19th, Kyrgyzstan's opposition promised a “decisive day” against Bakiev's government. At least that much is true:  the nine-day long protests in Bishkek ended in violence.   Therefore the protests, which were a call to reduce the power of the executive branch in the Constitution, may well result in increased presidential power. According to Russia's […]

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US opportunity: develop multilateral ties with China

US opportunity: develop multilateral ties with China

The Honorable Kevin Rudd,  Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives, spoke today at The Brookings Institution.  The topic:  US diplomatic engagement with China.  His remarks focussed almost completely upon issues of East Asia and the Pacific, but some of his comments apply quite well to US-Chinese diplomacy concerning Central Asia. China's Priorities Most Central Asia […]

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Green Revolution ignored, part 1: Practicalities

Green Revolution ignored, part 1: Practicalities

Yesterday, an article about agricultural practice in the Ferghana Valley brought me up short, because the numbers in it just sounded wrong.  However, I am no agricultural expert:  I spent a good part of the day talking to some wonderful people who know and study cotton at Texas A & M University.  In particular, I […]

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FPA Administrator
FPA Administrator

Blog updates from the FPA online editorial team and op-ed publisher for special contributors.

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