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Tajiks, Dushanbe, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR, peace accord

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Tajikistan, landlocked republic in southeastern Central Asia, bordered on the north by Kyrgyzstan, on the north and west by Uzbekistan, on the east by China, and on the south by Afghanistan. Dushanbe is the country’s capital and largest city. Tajikistan contains the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (Badakhshoni Kuhi), an ethnically based political subunit that occupies about 45 percent of the country’s territory.

In Tajik, the official state language, the country is called Jumhurii Tojikiston (Republic of Tajikistan). Tajiks, who speak a form of Persian, constitute a majority of the country’s population. In 1929 Tajikistan became the Tajik (or Tadzhik) Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Tajikistan became independent in 1991. Shortly after independence, a civil war broke out between the Communist-dominated government and opposition groups. The two sides formally signed a peace accord in June 1997.


For younger readers

Cartlidge, Cherese. The Central Asian States. Lucent, 2004. Discussion of Tajikistan and the other former Soviet Central Asian republics, for readers in grades 6 to 12.

Kort, Michael. Central Asian Republics. Facts on File, 2003. For readers in grade 7 and up.

Lerner Geography Department. Tajikistan: Then & Now. Lerner, 1994. For readers in grades 5 to 8.


Akiner, Shirin. Tajikistan: Disintegration or Reconciliation. Brookings Institution, 1999. An analysis of the internal and external dynamics of Tajikistan's independence.

Curtis, Glenn E., ed. Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan: Country Studies. The Library of Congress, 1997. From a series of area-studies handbooks.

Djalili, Mohammad-Reza, and others, eds. Tajikistan: The Trials of Independence. St. Martin's, 1998. New insight into questions as varied as clan and local identity, the political construction of ethnicity, and the role of peacekeeping forces.


Atkin, Muriel, B.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Associate Professor of History, George Washington University.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Tajiks, Dushanbe, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR, peace accord, largest city, civil war, capital, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Uzbekistan, population, independence, west, sides, country, June, percent, majority

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