No, it’s not North Korea or Zimbabwe, but a state which, according to a newly-released analysis ….
…. is increasingly incapable of providing basic services to its population, ….[c]orruption remains at a breathtaking level; and recent unsuccessful military operations in the east of the country against warlords and a small group of young insurgents underline its inability to handle even a modest security threat.
At the eye of the storm is Emomali Rahmon, the Soviet-style strongman who has been Tajikistan’s President since 1992. He withstood a five-year bloody civil war with Islamists that ended in 1997 and has retained power through the region’s usual authoritarian bag of tricks: a band of crony-apparatchiks, censorship of both the country’s media and mosques, and by cutting cynical, flimsy deals with erstwhile enemies.
Shame he doesn’t write about the country’s human rights and civil society groups striving to make the government accountable or the democracy assistance groups that engage political actors in efforts to promote reform.
For more information on Central Asia check out the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, a project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.