SCO RATS supports anti-terrorism measures taken by Tajik authorities

22/09/2015 11:04
Payrav Chorshanbiyev
Views: 9731

DUSHANBE, September 22, 2015, Asia-Plus -- A statement released by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) on September 21 says that it supports the anti-terrorism measures taken by the Tajik authorities.

“The RATS Executive Committee expresses support for the antiterrorism measures taken by Tajikistan’s competent bodies to maintain peace and stability in the country and assures that it will strengthen coordination of cooperation between competent bodies of the SCO member nations in combating three evils -- terrorism, separatism and extremism,” the statement says.

We will recall that that former deputy defense minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda and a group of gunmen under his control launched a predawn attack on the main police station in the Vahdat Township, east of the Tajik capital on September 4, and clashed later that day with security forces at a Defense Ministry building not far from the Dushanbe International Airport.  Nine police officers were killed and six others were wounded in those attacks.

Nazarzoda, his associate Colonel Junaidulloh Umarov, and several other gunmen then fled to the Romit Gorge, adjacent to Vahdat, where the government forces launched a security operation to hunt down them.  Nazarzoda and a group of his followers were surrounded by government security forces in the Gusgev area about 110 kilometers of Vahdat and were killed on September 16 after refusing to surrender.

The Organization currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are six observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Sri Lanka and Turkey.

The Organization’s six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world's population.  With observer states included, its affiliates account for about half of the world's population.

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.  The Head of RATS is elected to a three-year term. Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS. 

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