New York [US], January 14 (ANI/Sputnik): The UN mission in Kazakhstan appreciates that "relative" calm and order have been restored in the country following violent protests in early January, spokeswoman Elnara Bainazarova told Sputnik on Friday.
"First of all, we welcome the relative calm that seems to have returned to most of the country," Bainazarova said.
She expressed regret over the violence, loss of life, and damage that resulted from the unrest.
"UN expresses its sympathies to the people and the government of Kazakhstan, in particular families who lost their loved ones, and those wounded," she added.
Bainazarova highlighted the UN team's readiness to support efforts to find a sustainable solution to the crisis.
"We continue focusing on supporting the people and the government of Kazakhstan in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through national development plans and national priorities," she stated.
Speaking of the impact the events had on the operations of the mission, she said they were affected to the extent which other missions have experienced, citing security issues and temporarily restricted access to communication services.
Protests erupted in Kazakhstan in early January following a twofold increase in gas prices. The protests turned into riots, and the Kazakh government said they had been hijacked by terrorist groups aided by foreign actors. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a nationwide state of emergency until January 19 and invited Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peacekeeping forces to help bring the situation under control. Tokayev dismissed the government and appointed a new prime minister.
The situation has since been stabilized, and CSTO peacekeepers have begun their withdrawal. (ANI/Sputnik)