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CrisisWatch Turkmenistan

Unchanged Situation

Amid longstanding reports of food shortages, dozens of women held protest near Mary city 3 April; officials reportedly distributed bags of flour in effort to calm protesters. In official speech, President Berdymukhammedov same day referred to COVID-19 for first time publicly; urged cabinet to adopt action to alleviate its impact on economy and criticised several senior officials for mismanagement of food shortage situation. Central Bank 1 April banned withdrawal of cash in foreign currencies in response to concerns over falling global price of natural gas, while authorities in Darganata district (east) early April further reduced limits on daily cash withdrawals. Govt continued to claim it had not registered any COVID-19 cases and throughout month hosted mass public events. Media watchdog NGO Reporters Without Borders mid-April ranked Turkmenistan joint bottom in the world (with North Korea) in its annual review of press freedom.

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Turkmenistan after Niyazov

The death of President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan from heart failure was announced on 21 December 2006.

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