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What caused the Tengiz situation

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A document has surfaced, without signatures or details, which may or may not be authentic, containing a sequence of events on the 28th and 29th June which allegedly resulted in the unrest at Tengiz. We have published the document in the hope that officials will confirm or deny the events. Below are excerpts from the document.

Regarding the conflict situation on the Tengiz project;

June 28th (Friday), a resident of Kulsary, Zhylyoi District, a ‘civil activist’, Shapkaraev Turar Aydinovich, posted on his Facebook Page, ‘Bolat Karabolat’, an article in which he called upon the authorities to take action against the Chief Logistics Administrator of Consolidated Contracting Engineering & Procurement Company SAL (CCER LLP), Eli Daud. The article charges that Daud posted offensive images of a Kazakh girl on a WhatsApp chat. Shapkaraev accuses the foreigner of insulting the Kazakhstan nation and demanding that Daud be punished according to the law of the steppe and ancestors.

In response the district prosecutor interviewed Shapkaraev. Eli Daud, on the initiative of employers was dismissed and posted an apology.

June 29th (Saturday) at 10.00a.m., Arabic representatives of CCER LLP, made statements to Kazakhstan employees regarding the tightening of controls over disciplinary actions for labour in response to the dismissal of Daud. This caused outrage of Kazakhstan staff. Around 120 Kazakh staff then went to the office of CCER LLP and destroyed it, injuring several Arab staff in the process. (according to preliminary data, which is unverified, 9 Arabs and one local worker were injured. Workers then blocked the access road to the Plant 3 generators and 7 to 800 more went to the A4 office. At the same time, 10 buses belonging to the company were commandeered to take local workers to the Tengiz rotational camp where the living quarters of CCER LLP staff are located. Around 300 workers gathered at the camp and 3 Arabs were beaten.

TCO management evacuated all employees of contracting companies from the construction site.

Personnel from the the Zhylyoi district police department, National Security Committee and representatives of the district prosecutors’ officers were sent to the scene. Akim of the region accompanied by the regional prosecutor, chiefs of National Security Committee and the Police Department also departed from Atyrau.

It is irrelevant if the above document is authentic or not. The sequence and events described are important and provide evidence of a more complex situation than described in pictures and comments posted on social media.

Firstly, Eli Daud was dismissed the day before the riots and in response to intervention by the prosecutor’s office at the request of a citizen. The citizen considered the publication of photos on a WhatsApp chat offensive. Eli Daud apologised.

Secondly, Arab representatives made statements that outraged local employees because they felt they were being punished in response to the dismissal of an Arab worker. It is likely that these statements caused the flare up rather than the publication of pictures by Daud.

Third, Kazakh workers went to the contractor’s office in an attempt to clarify the situation, however this resulted in the destruction of the building and injury to expat staff.

Why this situation ultimately occurred or who is to blame will be the subject of investigation.


June 30 2019, 21:33

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