Zhanaozen: state of emergency lifted, lesson to be drawn
The state of emergency imposed in the town of Zhanaozen, Mangystau region, by the President's Decree on December 17 last year was completed. As President N.
Nazarbayev noted in his Address to the Nation "The socioeconomic modernization - the main vector of development of Kazakhstan", the situation in Zhanaozen has normalized; hence it was decided not to prolong the state of emergency. The life in the city and in the region returns to normal, and this shows the stability of our state, our society's ability to remain calm and patience in the difficult situations.
As the President emphasized in his Address, it is necessary to draw a lesson from the last year's events in Zhanaozen and remember it.
"The situation in Zhanaozen showed that single industrial little towns are subject to risks. The country was forced to declare a state of emergency in the town to stabilize the situation," N.Nazarbayev said.
Mass disturbances broke out in Zhanaozen due to protracted labor dispute on December 16, 2011 when the country celebrated the 20th anniversary of independence. As was found out later, the organizers of the disorders used the discontent of the residents fired out from the local branches of JSC KazMunayGas Exploration Production as well as the general socio-economic situation in the town, and pushed a part of the urban youth to illegal activities.
The riots proved costly for Zhanaozen. The town suffered economic disbenefit amounting to about KZT 2 billion. Many buildings, including two akimats (administrations), offices of banks, a hotel, a building of Ozenmunaygas Company, shops and malls, private houses, were looted and set on fire. Looters damaged power and communication lines, as a result phones and Internet stopped working. Harmless residents of the town suffered at the hands of the rioters.
The town's police were forced to use military weapons to stop the disorderly crowd, resulting deaths of several people and dozens were injured.
On December 17, the Security Council held a session, at which President N.Nazarbayev declared the state of emergency and gave instructions to the Government to take all necessary measures on speedy solution of the problems that have arisen in connection with the disorders in Zhanaozen.
There was formed a governmental commission. Special attention was paid to ensuring stable operation of the oil companies and employment of the Zhanaozen oil workers rendered idle after the reduction in production branches of JSC KazMunayGas Exploration Production. President N.Nazarbayev adopted a number of personnel decisions, including at the regional level, visited Zhanaozen and gave specific instructions at the scene.
The residents who were in need of work and the authorities had an active dialogue from the first days of the commission's functioning in Zhanaozen. There were no attempts to destabilize the situation during the state of emergency; the calm remained in the town.