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Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov no more


Uzbekistan prepares for Islam Karimov funeral

Karimov, who had served as president of the newly independent republic since 1991, suffered a brain hemorrhage on Saturday. ‘If they fail to agree on a compromise, however, open confrontation could destabilize Uzbekistan’.

Uzbekistan is ex-Soviet central Asia’s most populous country and borders Afghanistan, making it of strategic interest to Russian Federation and the United States.

Mr Karimov has run an authoritarian regime since 1989, suppressing opposition and cultivating no apparent successor, leaving a power vacuum.

Karimov passed away after suffering from a stroke on August 27.

Earlier on Saturday, thousands of mourners lined the streets of the main thoroughfare in the capital Tashkent as the late leader’s cortege headed to the capital’s airport.

People would check who headed the funeral commission for a clue concerning who’d take over, when Soviet leaders died.

The funeral came shortly after after an announcer on state-controlled announced that Karimov had died.

Uzbekistan will bury President Islam Karimov on Saturday, after his death plunged the Central Asian nation into the greatest period of uncertainty in its post-Soviet history with no clear successor to the iron-fisted ruler. Many have since joined the Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, where they have become battle-hardened.

Karimov has two daughters and five grandchildren.

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev is expected to fly in for the funeral, along with a coterie of leaders from former Soviet republics including Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and the prime ministers of Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Karimov grew up in an orphanage in Samarkand and went on to study mechanical engineering and economics, before joining the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Karimov’s government has often been accused of human rights atrocities, including forced child labor, the killing of unarmed protesters and even boiling protesters alive.

In a report released in April this year, rights group Amnesty International said that there was “overwhelming evidence that torture continues unabated in Uzbekistan”. Karimov put the death toll at 169 and said his forces had put down an armed uprising.

Once seen as a potential heir to her father’s throne one-time socialite, pop star and business magnate Gulnara, 44, spectacularly fell from grace in a bitter family feud and was placed under house arrest in 2014.