Uzbekistan president believes foreign forces orchestrated recent riots in Karakalpakstan

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev believes that recent riots in Nukus, the capital of the country’s republic of Karakalpakstan, were prepared for many years in advance with the help from foreign countries, Presidential Spokesman Sherzod Asadov said on Wednesday.

"All recent events were prepared and organized not one, and not ten days, prior to taking place. These events were under preparations for many years by foreign forces," Asadov quoted President Mirziyoyev as saying on his Telegram channel account.

"The main aim was to infringe upon the territorial integrity of Uzbekistan and to spark up an inter-ethnic conflict," according to the country’s president.

Mirziyoyev noted that the General Prosecutor’s Office launched a detailed probe into the recent events adding that public opinion representatives, lawmakers and public activists should also join this investigation.

"At this stage, law enforcement bodies’ actions must be thoroughly analyzed as well," he said adding that the current situation in the city of Nukus is under control and law enforcement bodies are providing for the security in the region on the whole.

Mass riots erupted in the Karakalpakstan region on July 1-2. The Uzbek authorities stated that a group of individuals had misled numerous people in a bid to seize local government bodies.

Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev declared a state of emergency in Karakalpakstan. Security was beefed up in the region and public events were suspended for the duration of the state of emergency, public transport services, the use of private cars, and the operation of eating facilities and shops were banned during the imposed night-time curfew.

Following the unrest, Mirziyoyev decided to drop constitutional amendments related to the region’s status.

In May, the country’s parliament formed a commission to hammer out constitutional amendments. A bill put together by the commission proposed about 200 amendments, two of which concerned the status of the Karakalpakstan region. The idea was to remove constitutional provisions declaring Karakalpakstan a sovereign republic in Uzbekistan and providing it with the right to secede from the country based on the results of a general referendum of the Karakalpak people.

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