OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Tajikistan
CAPITAL: Dushanbe
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 143,100 Sq Km (55,300 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY: Tajikistan is located in Central Asia and is a former republic of USSR. It is bound by Uzbekistan to the northwest and west, Afghanistan to the south, China to the east and Kyrgyzstan to the northeast. The country consists almost entirely of folded mountains, although the country can be divided into four topographical regions. (1.) The Fergana Valley to the north. (2.) The Gissar and Vakhsh Valleys to the south. (3.) The Pamir Mountains to the east which rise to 7,500 metres (24,590 feet) and the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast which is a plateau at 3,650 metres (12,000 feet) (4.) The Turkmenistan, Zeravshan and Gissar Ranges which run east to west in western Tajikistan. The principal river is the Amu-Darya which is also called the Pyandzh in its upper course while in the northeast Lake Kara Kul lies 3,200 metres (10,499 feet) above sea level. Major Cities (pop. est.); Dushanbe 582,400, Khudzhand (Leninabad) 164,500, Kulyab 79,300, Kurgan-Tyube 58,400, Ura-Tyube 47,700 (1989). Land Use; forested 4%, pastures 25%, agricultural-cultivated 6%, other 65% (1993).

CLIMATE: Tajikistan has a continental climate with hot summers and severe cold winters. Average annual precipitation varies from 150 mm (6 inches) along the upper reaches of the Amu-Darya to 250 to 380 mm (10 to 15 inches) elsewhere. Average temperature ranges are from -4 to 0 degrees Celsius (25 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 16 to 18 degrees Celsius (61 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.

PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Tajiks who account for 62% of the population while 24% are Uzbeks and 8% are Russians. Other ethnic minorities include Kyrgyzstani, Tartars, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Jews and Germans.

DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 40 persons per sq km (103 persons per sq mi) (1993). Urban-Rural; 30.9% urban, 69.1% rural (1992). Sex Distribution; 49.6% male, 50.4% female (1992). Life Expectancy at Birth; 66.8 years male, 71.9 years female (1991). Age Breakdown; 43% under 15, 28% 15 to 29, 14% 30 to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 4% 60 to 74, 2% 75 and over (1989). Birth Rate; 38.9 per 1,000 (1992). Death Rate; 6.1 per 1,000 (1992). Increase Rate; 32.8 per 1,000 (1992). Infant Mortality Rate; 40.6 per 1,000 live births (1990).

RELIGIONS: Mostly Sunni Muslims.

LANGUAGES: The official language is Tajik, although Russian is also widely spoken and each ethnic minority has its own language.

EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: primary or no formal schooling 16.3%, incomplete secondary 21.1%, secondary and incomplete secondary 55.1%, higher 7.5% (1989). Literacy; N/A.

MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: On Sept. 9, 1991 Tajikistan declared its independence, although prior to independence its history was closely tied with that of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In Mar. 1953 Yosef Stalin died and was succeeded by Georgy Malenkov who was in turn forced to relinquish the party leadership to Nikita Khrushchev after a little over one week in power. In 1955 the Warsaw pact militarily aligned the Soviet Union with other communist countries and in Nov. 1956 the Soviet Red Army invaded Hungary to quell uprisings. In 1957 three communist ministers unsuccessfully attempted to depose Khrushchev which resulted in their expulsion from the central committee. In 1962 under Khrushchev's rule the USSR was involved in the Cuban Missile crisis and in the same year relations with China were broken off as a result of ideological differences. In Oct. 1964 Khrushchev was forced to retire and was succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev. In Aug. 1968 the Warsaw Pact forces led by the Red Army invaded Czechoslovakia to halt their Prague Spring reforms. In 1977 Breshnev was elected President. In Nov. 1982 Brezhnev died and was succeeded by Yuri Andropov, the former head of the KGB. Andropov introduced limited economic reforms and established an anti-corruption program. In Feb 1984 Andropov died and was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko who in turn died on Mar. 10, 1985. On Mar. 11, 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected as Chernenko's successor and Gorbachev embarked on a program which restructured the USSR's relations with the West. Gorbachev also established Glasnost (openness) as well as Perestroika (restructuring and reform). In Apr. 1986 a meltdown in the reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine sent radioactive fallout across northern Europe. In Dec. 1987 the USSR and USA signed the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF). In Feb. 1988 a dispute erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh which resulted in mass demonstrations and strikes in the two republics. In Dec. 1988 an earthquake in Armenia killed some 50,000 people. In Apr. 1989 troops violently repressed demonstrations in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. In Dec. 1989 the Lithuanian Parliament adopted multiparty politics. In Jan. 1990 Gorbachev visited Lithuania and was met by some 250,000 pro-independence demonstrators. In Feb. 1990 some 18 people were killed in riots over housing discrimination in Tajikistan. In May 1990 Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the Russian Federation and on Nov. 1, 1990 launched a 500 day plan to give the Russian Republic a free market economy. In June 1990 Nakhichevan an Azerbaijani enclave bordering Iran declared its intention for a unification with Iran while a civil war was escalating between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In the same month around 150 people were killed during ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan. In Jan 1991 another 15 people were killed as the Red Army seized a television station in Lithuania while in Latvia the Soviet Black Berets killed 5 people in an attack on the ministry building. In the same month troops were being deployed in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova. In Mar. 1991 pro-Yeltsin demonstrators held a mass rally. On Aug. 18, 1991 as Gorbachev was vacationing in the Crimea, the Politburo hard liners attempted a coup to remove Gorbachev from power through the declaration of a State of Emergency under the control of a State Committee. Almost immediately republic leaders declared the emergency committee illegal as well as unconstitutional and began to barricade their parliaments as troops and tanks were deployed throughout the republics. By Aug. 20 senior officers had refused to order their troops to use force against the civilians and on Aug. 21, 1991 the coup collapsed as troops were ordered to return to their barracks. Immediately following the unsuccessful coup many republics suspended or purged the communist party and on Sept. 5, 1991 after 3 days of debate the 74 years of centralized communist control came to an end. In Nov. 1991 Pres. Rakhmon Nabiyev was elected President. In 1992 armed groups supporting either Pres. Nabiyev and communism or the Islamic Revival Party (IRP) and the democratic opposition clashed in the southern region of the country. In Jan. 1992 Tajikistan became a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In March 1992 demonstrations took place with protesters demanding the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet, Nabiyev's resignation, a new constitution and multiparty elections. On May 11, 1992 an agreement was reached on the establishment of government of national reconciliation, although fighting broke out the next day. On Sept. 7, 1992 Pres. Nabiyev was forced to resign and was succeeded by Akbarshah Iskandarov as acting President of a government dominated by Islamic and democratic parties. In Oct. 1992 fighting escalated with Dushanbe briefly held by forces loyal to Nabiyev. On Nov. 20, 1992 the Supreme Soviet replaced Pres. Iskandarov with Imomali Rakhmonov. On Nov. 27, 1992 presidential rule was abolished and a parliamentary republic proclaimed with a new government controlled by former Communists. On Dec. 10, 1992 the government seized control of Dushanbe, although fighting between the factions continued while thousands of IRP supporters fled the country. In 1993 the new government with the assistance of Russia and Uzbekistan countered the attacks from insurgence supporters of the IRP and Tajik rebels based in Afghanistan. In Feb. 1993 further attacks on IRP supporters by the Communist government supporters led to further civilians fleeing to Afghanistan. In June 1993 the four principal opposition parties were banned and their leaders charged with armed insurrection. In Sept. and Oct. 1993 incursions by bands of up to 400 armed men were reported by Russian Tajik-Afghan border guards. Throughout 1993 daily attacks by rebels from Afghanistan were launched resulting in casualties on both sides while the government fearing Afghan Islamic fundamentalist influence over the Tajik refugees sought UN assistance in repatriating them. The government announced assurances of their safety, although very few returned.

CURRENCY: The official currency is the Rouble (R) divided into 100 Kopecks.

ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $2,671,500,000 (1993). Public Debt; N/A. Imports; USD $800,000,000 (1994). Exports; USD $400,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; N/A. Balance of Trade; USD -$400,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 1,913,000 or 34.4% of total population (1993). Unemployed; 1.7% (1994).

MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partner is the CIS.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Antimony, Apricots, Coal, Cotton, Fruits, Lead, Livestock, Niobium, Oil, Phosphates, Rice, Silkworms, Tantalum, Tungsten, Uranium, Vanadium, Zinc.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Food Processing, Fruit Canning, Meat Processing, Mining, Textiles.

MAIN EXPORTS: Coal, Minerals Ore, Petroleum, Processed Foods and Meat, Textiles.

TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 891 km (554 mi) (1990), passenger-km 9,808,000,000 (6,094,000,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 11,121,000,000 (7,617,000,000 short ton-mi) (1990). Roads; length 13,396,000 km (8,324,000 mi) (1990). Vehicles; cars 209,100 (1988). Merchant Marine; N/A. Air Transport; passenger-km 5,173,400,000 (3,214,601,000 passenger-mi) (1989), cargo ton-km 32,300,000 (22,122,000 short ton-mi) (1989).

COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 9 with a total circulation of 361,370 (1992). Radio; receivers 854,000 (1992). Television; receivers 860,000 (1992). Telephones; units 259,600 (1993).

MILITARY: 6,000 (1994) total active duty personnel with 100% army while military expenditure accounts for 3.1% (1992) of the Gross National Product (GNP).

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