07ASTANA1112, KAZAKHSTAN: INL DESK OFFICER CHECKS OUT CAMELS, KAZAKHSTANI

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA1112 2007-04-26 10:38 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7930
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #1112/01 1161038
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261038Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9262
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001112 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SCA COLLECTIVE 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN, INL/AAE (ALTON), SCA/CEN (OMARA) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV KCRM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: INL DESK OFFICER CHECKS OUT CAMELS, KAZAKHSTANI 
CUISINE, KUMYS, AND OF COURSE, INL PROGRAMS 
 
 
1.  Summary: In addition to attending the quarterly meetings 
reported septel, INL desk officer viewed border intercepts at the 
Tazhen border post in Western Kazakhstan; visited the Anti-TIP 
Center in Karaganda; shared a Nauryz meal at the Financial Police 
Academy in Koschi; learned of the increased drug seizures resulting 
from the establishment of the Regional Border Guard Training Center 
in Saryagash; and visited the Military Institute Border Guard 
Training Center and the CARICC building. End summary. 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
BORDER? SAY WHAT? WHERE THE CAMELS AND HORSES ROAM 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
2.  Two border posts in Western Kazakhstan provided visiting INL 
desk officer an excellent view of the challenges of securing some of 
the 13,000 kilometers of borders in the ninth largest country in the 
world.  Tazhen and Beineu are located in the desert of the far west 
in Kazakhstan and provide passport control and customs services on a 
quasi-road and rail line crossing into Uzbekistan. 
 
3.  In conjunction with an INL-funded project titled "Enhancing 
Immigration Inspection and Border Control on the Land Border of 
Kazakhstan with Uzbekistan," implemented by the International 
Organization for Migration (IOM) to assess and lightly equip 
selected border posts on the border with Uzbekistan and 
Turkmenistan, the INL delegation visited the posts to deliver 
vehicles and inspection equipment. 
 
4.  After a three-hour one-stop plane ride from Astana, an 
eight-hour overnight train ride to Beineu and a two-and-a-half hour 
4WD slog through the spring mud south to Tazhen, INL Officer and 
staff were able to conduct the handover ceremony just in time for 
the binoculars to prove their utility.  Testing the binoculars, a 
border guard saw a herder crossing the wide open border from 
Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan who had almost been caught by the Uzbek 
border guards.  The Kazakhstani border guards used a 4WD vehicle to 
respond to the apparent border violation.  It turned out that the 
shepherd was not crossing the border intentionally but wanted to 
catch up with a member of his herd of grazing camels and horses that 
was not respecting the boundary.  (Note: In the last year several 
cases have been reported where Uzbekistani border guards "capture" 
Kazakhstani citizens who inadvertently wander across the unfenced, 
unmarked border.  The Kazakhstani border guards' quick action likely 
avoided another messy border incident and saved an innocent shepherd 
boy significant difficulties. End note.) 
 
5.  Aside from the overall aim of enhancing the security of 
Kazakhstan's borders, INL's program provides an ancillary benefit to 
under-funded, under-equipped, and under-staffed posts such as 
Tazhen.  Some of the biggest challenges for border guards serving in 
this area are climate and geography.  The post is located in a scrub 
desert which is impassable when the winter and spring rains arrive. 
During summer months the temperature reaches 50 degrees Centigrade. 
In addition to the 4WD vehicle and binoculars, inspection equipment, 
communications equipment, INL sometimes provides air conditioning 
units just to make office space at the border posts tolerable. 
 
6.  Staffing these difficult posts will continue to be a problem for 
the foreseeable future.  Salaries would have to be substantially 
increased to make service in the remote desert region attractive. 
Currently, officers and staff work a week of 12 hour shifts living 
in barracks and then travel two and a half hours back to Beineu for 
time off.  In addition, living in Mangystauskaya oblast is expensive 
because the difficulties of importing products and the oil and gas 
development has driven prices up beyond the reach of border guard 
salaries. 
 
7.  More effective technology is necessary to monitor the vast open 
territory on the border with Uzbekistan.  The possibility of 
providing such equipment is being considered within the framework of 
the CENTCOM-funded Counter-Narcotics Project implemented by the 
Embassy's Office of Military Cooperation. 
 
 
----------------------- 
SOUTH, ALONG THE BORDER 
----------------------- 
 
8.  From the empty, desert west of Kazakhstan the INL desk officer 
traveled to the urban, riverine south where INL funded a Regional 
Border Guard Training Center in Saryagash.  The Border Guards 
provided the building, located on a base they share with the 
military, and INL renovated and equipped a large classroom and 
offices to provide a central location where officers and staff of 
nearby posts could receive instruction without having to travel to 
Almaty - a one day trip one way. 
 
 
ASTANA 00001112  002 OF 002 
 
 
9.  The Head of the Border Guard Sector, Duman Yelemessov, informed 
the delegation how he is effectively using the classroom.  In just 
four months, Yelemessov h
as welcomed international trainers to teach 
his troops once and conducted six sessions of GOK-funded training. 
The officers of the Kazakh-Uzbek border sector develop training 
material and conduct training for locally hired staff who examine 
the passports of those crossing the border. 
 
10.  Yelemessov announced that after providing the training seminars 
to the border guard inspectors and controllers the number of 
contraband seizures for the first three months of the year exceeded 
the number of seizures for last two years.  Within the framework of 
projects based on the ALOA INL will continue to create regional 
training centers at other locations on Kazakhstan's borders. 
 
 
---------------------------------- 
TO KARAGANDA TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING 
---------------------------------- 
 
11.  In an effort to improve Kazakhstan's capacity to combat 
trafficking in persons, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Alik 
Shpekbayev, initiated the opening of the Study Center for Combating 
Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (Anti-TIP Center) and 
requested U.S. assistance.  For their part, the Government of 
Kazakhstan provided around $114,000 for the improvement of the Legal 
Institute, including construction of dormitories for the Anti-TIP 
Center.  The GOK also assigned three positions to staff the Anti-TIP 
Center.  In addition, the GOK provided two classrooms and office 
space for the Anti-TIP Center.  INL provided $50,000 to furnish, 
equip and renovate Anti-TIP Center and furnish a dormitory for the 
participants who will be trained at the Center. 
 
12.  As a result of the meeting with the Director of the Legal 
Institute in Karaganda during the visit of the INL Desk Officer, it 
was agreed to conduct the official opening of the Anti TIP Center in 
June.  Opening the Anti-TIP Center is the first step in what 
Shpekbayev said is a plan to create an International Anti-TIP 
Training center where officers of neighboring countries could be 
trained as well. 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
TEAMWORK (AND HOSPITALITY) TO FIGHT MONEY LAUNDERING 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
13.  The INL desk officer's visit to the Financial Police Academy 
provided an opportunity to meet the Acting Academy Director, Nurseit 
Baizhanov.  He vowed to continue the established professional 
relationship between the Embassy and the Academy, where INL trains 
Financial Police officers on how to combat money laundering. 
Therefore, INL will continue supporting training for in-service 
officers on detection and investigation of money laundering.  New 
courses for operational financial crimes officers are planned for 
September and November 2007.  Baizhanov also graciously provided the 
INL delegation with a Nauryz eve meal of traditional Kazakh cuisine 
including kumys (fermented mare's milk), kurt (dried milk balls), 
horse meat and nauryz kozhe soup. 
 
14.  Baizhanov pointed out the utility of the INL-provided English 
Language Laboratory, noting that for more effective AML training in 
the longer term it is necessary to focus on development of English 
language skills since this will allow Kazakhstani cadets to enroll 
in more international institutions and in future will allow to 
establish the working relationship FIU in U.S. 
 
 
--------------------------------- 
AND THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE TO SEE 
--------------------------------- 
 
15.  Wrapping up the visit, the INL desk officer observed border 
crossing activities at the Kaplanbek Southern border post with 
Uzbekistan; breakfasted in the Border Guard barracks in Beineu, 
viewed progress on the INL rehabilitation project at the Military 
Institute in Almaty; and was briefed by UNODC on the Central Asia 
Regional Information Coordination Center (CARICC) in Almaty. 
 
ORDWAY

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