Kazakhstan Has Weathered an Attempted Coup D'Etat, President Tokayev Says at CSTO Summit
07:37 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 18:49 GMT 19.10.2022)
Speaking at an extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Monday that the recent unrest in the Central Asian country had been prepared for a long time.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told an extraordinary online meeting of heads of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that the main goal of the terrorists was undermining constitutional order, the seizure of power and an attempted coup.
"A hot phase unfolded and groups of armed militants who were waiting in the wings came into action. The main goal became obvious - the undermining of the constitutional order, the destruction of governance institutions, the seizure of power. We are talking about an attempted coup," Tokayev said.
He added that foreign militants had participated in aggression against Kazakhstan. According to Tokayev, the situation was critical, Almaty and 9 regional centres were held by terrorists.
The Kazakh president described the unrest as the most difficult in the entire history of the country since its independence and suggested that the violent riots were coordinated from one center. Militants pretended to be participants of mass protests and used demonstrators as human shields, Tokayev said, mentioning that foreigners participated in the aggression against Kazakhstan.
He promised to provide the international community with evidence of an aggression against Kazakhstan soon.
"In the near future, after the completion of the preliminary investigation, we will provide the world community with additional evidence of the preparation and conduct of terrorist aggression against our country," Tokayev said.
Tokayev also thanked the CSTO leaders for their assistance and for agreeing to send peacekeeprs to Kazakshtan to protect critical infrastructure.
"Kazakhstan turned to the CSTO with a request to provide assistance, it turned out to be extremely timely. After finding out about the arrival of three military transport aircraft in the capital, the militants abandoned their plans to seize the presidential residence," Tokayev said, adding that the large-scale counter-terrorism operation will end soon.
According to the Kazakh leader, the recent events "became a turning point in the development of the organisation [CSTO]."
The CSTO mission will end when the counter-terrorism operation is completed, Tokayev added, mentioning that a total of 2,300 peacekeeprs are currently deployed in Kazakhstan.
"We already see that questions are arising about the legitimacy of the deployment of the CSTO forces. This is due to the lack of reliable information and misunderstanding of the whole situation," Tokayev said.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency until 19 January and invited the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peacekeeping forces to guard vital facilities.
Mass protests in Kazakhstan began earlier in the week as residents of Zhanaozen and Aktau opposed a two-fold increase in prices for liquefied petroleum gas. The protests then spread to other cities, resulting in violent clashes with the police, looting and vandalism. According to Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry, the country’s law enforcement will carry out a major investigation into the causes of the mass riots and will present the results to the world community.
The ministry has called on the media to not distort information regarding the unrest in Kazakhstan and emphasised that the law enforcement and the military are currently standing up against terrorists and not peaceful protesters. Preliminary data indicates that well-coordinated terrorist groups trained from abroad which carried out armed aggression in Kazakhstan include people who had participated in combat activities in the past, on the side of radical Islamist groups.