situation report

Kazakhstan: Residents of Town Rocked by Munitions Blasts Demand Relocation

1 MIN READJun 27, 2019 | 20:51 GMT

What Happened: Hundreds of residents of the southern Kazakh town of Arys, which was rocked by a series of explosions at an ammunition depot this week, rallied in the regional capital city of Shymkent on June 27 to demand that the government relocate them, Radio Free Europe reported. The regional governor promised the protesters that their town would be cleaned up and made safe while dismissing rumors that the June 24 blasts had contaminated the town with radiation.

Why It Matters: Protests over the official handling of the explosions in Arys could add pressure to the new government led by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, which has also dealt with protests over socioeconomic issues.

Background: Presidential elections were held in Kazakhstan on June 9, with Tokayev, the chosen successor of long-serving ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, winning nearly 71 percent of the vote.

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