Tajikistan. According to
Countryaah.com, political thaw in neighboring Uzbekistan
continued to warm neighbor relations. In January, several
border crossings between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were
opened, and in March the Uzbek President visited Tajikistan.
It was then decided that the visa requirement for
cross-border travel would be waived.
Later, cooperation was agreed to clear mines at the
border. Many Tajikistani shepherds had been killed since the
mines were deployed by the Uzbek military in 2000 with the
intention of stopping militant Islamists from Tajikistan.
Domestically, no political thunderstorm was noticed. The
cult of personality surrounding President Emomali Rachmon
continued, and in state media he was mentioned as the
Founder of Peace and National Unity, the leader of the
nation, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, his
Excellency Emomali Rachmon.
In July, four foreign bicycle tourists were killed south
of the capital Dusjanbe in what appeared to be a terrorist
act. Several perpetrators were shot dead and one was
arrested by police. The Islamic State (IS) terror group said
it was behind the act, but the government claimed that the
perpetrators were members of a banned Tajik Islamist party.
At a riot in prison in November, nearly 50 interns and
two employees were killed. IS was said to be behind the
uprising. Among the inmates were many convicted of serious
crimes such as murder or convicted of membership in IS.
In November, security forces arrested twelve people
accused of membership of IS and of plans to attack the
Russian military base in Dushanbe.
In November, the large hydroelectric dam Rogun in western
Tajikistan was inaugurated. It has been built in
installments since the Soviet era, and it is fully designed
to have the world's largest dust height of 335 meters.