Cease Fire: General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan

Agreement between the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, E. S. Rakhmonov, and the leader of the United Tajik Opposition, S. A. Nuri, on the results of the meeting held in Moscow on 23 December 1996:

From the date of signature of the present Agreement, to proclaim a ceasefire and the cessation of other hostile activities for the entire period of the inter-Tajik talks.

Protocol on Settlement of the Military and Political Situation in the Areas of Confrontation (11 December 1996):

The President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Emomali S. Rakhmonov, and the leader of the United Tajik Opposition, Mr. S. Abdullo Nuri, condemn the recent marked deterioration in the military and political situation in the Karategin Valley and Tavildara areas of the Republic on the eve of their Moscow meeting, and have agreed as follows:

1. Before the signing of the Agreement in Moscow, to halt all military action starting at 00 hours on 12 December 1996;

2. The parties shall withdraw their armed units and formations from the Dushanbe-Khorog highway. Towards Tavildara, they shall establish their posts respectively on both sides of the Karanak pass (the government post in sector and the opposition post in the village of Saridasht). They request the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan to assign representatives to these posts as observers. Simultaneously, the armed formations of the United Tajik Opposition shall withdraw from the centre of Tavildara to the village of DashtiSher. The government forces shall remain on the summit of the Khaburobot pass and in the Labi-Djar locality;

3. The parties shall remove their armed posts on the Dushanbe-Jirgatal highway. The United Tajik Opposition shall withdraw its armed formations from the regional centres of Komsomolabad, Garm, Tajikabad and Jirgatal. The Ministry of Internal Affairs battalion shall remain at Garm at the location where it was previously stationed.

Implementation History

1997

Intermediate Implementation

Fighting between UTO forces and the military was not uncommon in 1997, but the CNR was active. There were bombings in September 1997 – after the return of rebel leader, Abdullo Nuri, following five years of exile in Teheran –which injured 16 people.1 On 26 September, the CNR issued an appeal to armed groups in the country whose loyalty was not clear to come forward. It declared that they join the government or the UTO by 16 November. After that date they would be considered illegal.2 

  • 1. "Bomb injures 16 in Tajikistan after return of opposition leader," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 12, 1997.
  • 2. "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Tajikistan," United Nations, (S/1997/859), November 5, 1997.
1998

Intermediate Implementation

In March, a clash between UTO fighters and an army unit led to a gunfight near Romit that killed 40 people. UNMOT and CNR officials restored the ceasefire on 25 March. More fighting took place between UTO elements and government forces on 29 April 1998 near Teppei-Samarkandi and Dushanbe. The main cause of the fighting was related to the arrest of three UTO members on criminal charges. UTO leaders maintained that the fighting was not endorsed by the UTO leadership. After the fighting, UNMOT worked closely with the Contact Group to diffuse the situation. A meeting took place between the government and UTO leaders on 2 May 1998, in which parties agreed to appoint Mr. Turajonzodah to lead a special commission to restore the ceasefire. The ceasefire was restored on 3 May.3

In September of 1998, Otakhon Latifi, a prominent UTO member of the CNR was assassinated outside his home.4 

In October, 38 persons were detained for spoiler type violence and the abduction of the Deputy Mayor of Khujand. Interestingly, 15 were government servicemen and one was a Commander in the Ministry of Interior.5 

  • 3. "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Tajikistan," United Nations, (S/1998/374), May 6, 1999.
  • 4. "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Tajikistan," United Nations, (S/1998/1029), November 3, 1998.
  • 5. Ibid.
1999

Full Implementation

The government and UTO remain dedicated to maintaining the ceasefire.6 Sporadic clashes and episodes of violence were reported during the period, but were quickly and effectively managed.7 

  • 6. Rashid Abdullo, "Implementation of the 1997 General Agreement: Success, Dilemmas, and Challenges," in Politics of Compromise: the Tajikistan Peace Process, ed. K. Abdullaev and C. Barnes (London: Conciliation Resources, 2001), Accord 10: 48–53.
  • 7. "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Tajikistan," United Nations, (S/1998/374), May 6, 1999.
2000

Full Implementation

The CNR concluded in 2000 with no reports of ceasefire violations.

Owed in large part to the continued presence of Russia’s 201st Motor Rifle Division headquartered in Dushanbe, no sustained bouts of organized violence were reported for the remaining period of observation.8  

2001

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2002

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2003

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.