Monday, June 23, 2008

Forcibly Settling Ruhubelent

Turkmenistan's government is forcing a number of internal relocations, particularly to a desert area in the northeast called Ruhubelent:
"Most Dashoguz residents are reportedly being forced to move to a new district named Ruhubelent, in the country's northeast. It was set up in March 2007 by a decree issued by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov...

State media reported that the district administration buildings, the local office of the National Security Ministry, and a trade center were built in October. The construction of schools is not finished, and the gas, water, and electric infrastructures are also not yet completed...

As for the houses, the new residents are expected to build them themselves...

RFE/RL's Turkmen Service listeners say the government offers no financial reward for leaving everything behind and moving to this desert area. They say they are only given an opportunity to get a bank loan of some 50 million manats ($3,300)."

An official Turkmen web site sings the area's praises:
"The Ruhubelent Etrap, one of the youngest regions of Turkmenistan, was establishment in the tracts of land - Shasenem, Ashik Aidyn and Diyarbekir in the Dashoguz Velayat last year. During the year over 6,000 hectares of fallow lands were developed, of them 3,500 hectares were sown with winter wheat and 2,600 hectares with cotton.

"Ruhubelent grain growers work tirelessly so that the harvest would be plentiful and heavy-eared. They observed the agricultural requirements and prepared the agricultural machines including the John Deer and Case highly-powered harvesting combines and trucks for the campaign."

As I've often said, just because the Berdymuhammedov is better than Niyazov, we're still light-years away from any sort of decent regime.



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