(Belga) The US government calls on the authorities of Kazakhstan to “restraint” and wants the protests to take place there “in a peaceful manner”, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday, as the country d Central Asia has just declared a state of emergency.
The unrest in Kazakhstan erupted on Sunday due to an increase in gas prices in a provincial town before spreading overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in the economic capital, Almaty, where nearly 5,000 people were dispersed by the police with stun grenades and tear gas. A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday throughout Kazakhstan, according to Russian media. President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday denounced the actions of “groups of criminal elements” and pledged a “firm” response to the protests, citing “massive attacks” against law enforcement officials. have caused deaths and injuries. The former Soviet republic also experienced a “nationwide internet blackout” on Wednesday, said web monitoring group NetBlocks, arguing that this could “severely limit coverage of escalating anti-government protests. “. Jen Psaki also criticized Russia’s “crazy claims” of alleged US responsibility for the riots in Kazakhstan. “This is absolutely false” and it is “part of the Russian disinformation strategy”, she asserted. Russia, for whom Kazakhstan is of crucial importance, called for a “peaceful solution” and “dialogue”. The UN is monitoring the situation “with concern,” Secretary-General’s spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Wednesday during his daily press briefing. “It is very important for all those involved in these current events to exercise restraint, to refrain from all violence and to promote dialogue,” added Mr. Dujarric. (Belga)