… this came after protests triggered by a rise in fuel prices spread to Kazakhstan’s biggest city, Almaty…
Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has sacked his cabinet and imposed states of emergency in the country’s largest city and an oil-rich western region following mass protests triggered by a rise in fuel prices.
Tokayev said on Wednesday morning that he had accepted the resignation of the cabinet led by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, and ordered the acting cabinet to reinstate price controls on Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).
He also ordered the acting cabinet to broaden price controls to petrol, diesel and other “socially important” consumer goods.
The moves followed clashes in Almaty overnight between police and thousands of protesters who had called for the government’s resignation.
Some of them yelled “old man out” – a reference to Tokayev’s still-powerful predecessor and mentor Nursultan Nazarbayev – while others attacked vehicles. Police used tear gas and stun grenades to stop a crowd of protesters from storming the mayor’s office.
In a bid to quell the unrest, Tokayev early on Wednesday imposed states of emergency in Almaty as well as the western Mangistau province.
The decrees, he said, would last two weeks and include an 11pm (17:00 GMT) to 7am (01:00 GMT) curfew, movement restrictions, and a ban on mass gatherings.
“Calls to attack government and military offices are absolutely illegal,” Tokayev had said in a video address earlier in the night. “The government will not fall, but we want mutual trust and dialogue rather than conflict.”
Messenger apps Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp were all unavailable in the Central Asian country, while two independent media websites that reported on the protests appeared to have been blocked.