Example framework

The following is an example analysis of the situation in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan

Tajikistan is the poorest of the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. The country had been formed and held together only under Soviet rule. There was little sense of national identity.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the independence of its constituent republics, a civil war broke out in Tajikistan in May 1992, pitting the northern clans from the Khojand region (the major industrial and agricultural area), who dominated the central government, against most of the southern clans. The one southern clan allied to the northerners was the Kulobis. Ideology was not a major factor; the conflict was a power struggle among different clan-based regional parties for access to the country’s political and economic spoils.

However, there were democratic, Islamic, and nationalist movements opposed to the communist-style government. There was also an Uzbek ethnic minority in the country. Outside forces were also involved: Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia provided support to the Islamic movement. Russia became militarily involved to protect the southern border of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states were concerned that a fundamentalist Islamic movement might take power.

Efforts to resolve the civil war began in 1993 as influential citizens from different regions and factions started an unofficial dialogue under the auspices of an American-Russian academic team. The UN launched an official mediation process in 1994 involving the major combatants: the government and the United Tajik Opposition. Meanwhile, Tajik non-governmental organizations working on citizenship education and civil society sought to work across the regional divides. A comprehensive peace agreement was reached in 1997. The OSCE has been acting as a guarantor of the agreement and working on human dimension issues and national reconciliation. Rapprochement describes the current situation.

Analysis

Answer the following questions concerning Tajikistan. Enter “Unknown” if you do not know the answer. Compare your answers to the supplied answers, found on a following page.

Actors

Who are the primary actors?

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Secondary actors?

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Who else has been involved?

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Root causes

What was the driving or motivating the primary parties to the conflict?

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What were their underlying fears?

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Issues, scope, and stage of the conflict

What phase is the conflict in right now?

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Who is suffering or most affected among the population?

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What is at stake in the conflict?

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Power, resources, and relationships

What resources and capacity does each side possess?

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What relationships exist among the leaders?

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What communication channels exist?

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History of the relationship and peacemaking efforts

Was there a time when the parties coexisted peacefully?

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What changed?

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What were previous attempts at settlement, including those by non-state actors, and why did they fail?

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Was there a pattern to the failures?

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