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Mon 11 December 2017

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The third largest cotton producer in the world during soviet times, intensive plantation has left mush of Uzbekistan environmentally savaged, and has dried much of the Aral sea. Like four out of the five Central Asian states, Uzbekistan saw the metamorphosis of its Communist Regime to a 'democratic' one which then became increasingly autocratic. Endowed with the Fergana Valley, Samarkand and Bukhara, Uzbekistan has been a traditional centre for Islam. Uzbeks make up the largest ethnic group in Central Asia with large Uzbek minorities, and are not confined to Uzbekistan but spread throughout the region. Victim to the whims of President Islam Karimov as he struggles to the suppressed Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Hizb-ut-Tahrir Uzbekistan is an unstable country whose instability continually threatens its neighbours.


· 279,375 sq miles
· Touches borders of every other Central Asian State

· Tashkent

· 25 million
· 60% under 25 years of age
· Concentrated in the Fergana Valley region

· 88% Muslim (mostly sunni)
· 9% Eastern Orthodox

· Descended from the Shaybani Uzbeks who ruled an empire in the region in the 1500's
· Make up 70-80% of the population
· Form large ethnic minority populations in the other Central Asian counties

o 23% of Tajikistan's population is Uzbek in origin
o 13% of Turkmenistan's population is Uzbek in origin
o 13% of Kygyzistan's population is Uzbek in origin
o there are 25 000 Uzbeks in China's Xinjiang province
o there are 2 million Uzbeks in Afghanistan
· Thus disturbances in Uzbekistan have wide-ranging political implications for neighbouring countries. President Islam Karimov often uses this fact to his advantage to exert pressure on his neighbours.


o President Islam Karimov
o Born into the Samarkand elite
o Tajik mother, Uzbek father
o Orphaned as a child
o Grew up in a state orphanage - often a recruiting ground for soviet civil servants
o Trained as mechanical engineer
o Former Secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekisatn
o Metamorphosed into Leader of the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan at independence from the Soviet Union in 1991
o 1995 - extended his presidency through a referendum to 2000
o 2000 - extend his presidency further 're-election' although almost no opposition was allowed and he got 96% of the vote
o Now runs an autocratic, despotic and highly corrupt regime


o 3rd largest cotton producer in the World during Soviet times, when much of the land was turned over to forced cotton production
o self-sufficient in oil
o Gas reserves of an estimated 70 million cubic feet
o Exports
o cotton, gold, natural gas, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, automobiles
o Mian Trading Partner : Russia


o Still state run, has resisted privatisation and economic reform
o This has resulted in a withdrawal of IMF funding
o Closed economy tend to repel foreign investment
o Growing debt burden
o Persistent inflation
o Food shortages
o High unemployment 10-20%on average, 80% in Fergana Valley



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