Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Just 12 days left until the election

Our favorite "landlocked country of 5 million that borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China, lacks the oil riches of its neighbors and faces problems such as endemic corruption, poverty and drug trafficking" is going to have elections in just 12 days, I wonder what the bookies in london are puting Bakiyev's odds at? Anyone know?


KYRGYZ GOVERNMENT BLAMES AKAYEV FOR COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY UPRISING IN BISHKEK - Eurasia Daily Monitor: "The possible origin of the current crisis around Baryktabasov can be traced to early April when a number of infamous Kyrgyz politicians and businessmen abruptly announced their intentions to run for the presidency. Baryktabasov and Nurbek Turdukulov, head of Bitel GSM, were believed to be prot�g�s of Askar Akayev in the new political regime. Before Bakiyev and Kulov agreed to join forces in May, Baryktabasov had backed Kulov, because evidence suggested that Kulov was also secretly allied with Akayev and had the strongest chances, after Bakiyev, to become the next president. However, after Kulov allied with the acting president, Baryktabasov decided to run independently. Baryktabasov needed to quickly broadcast his candidacy to the wider public and mass riots were the best opportunity for that. Two factors helped Baryktabasov stage the riots: his Kazakh ties and the CEC's refusal to register his candidacy. Rated among top businessmen in Kazakhstan, Baryktabasov possesses enormous funds to execute his political plans, and the refusal provided the opportunity. "


CIS COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION HOLDS SUMMIT - Eurasia Daily Monitor: "With President Vladimir Putin joining in, those same Russian officials criticized the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan for failing to suppress 'terrorist training bases, including those supported by certain intelligence services' (Putin) and for tolerating the booming export of Afghan heroin to Russia and Europe. Rating the coalition's efforts as 'very ineffective thus far,' Putin and other Russian officials hinted that the CSTO is prepared to consider stepping in. The meeting discussed possible measures to increase and coordinate assistance to Afghanistan, as well as setting up 'a working group to coordinate with Afghan structures' and a joint anti-drug authority.

Kyrgyzstan's post-revolution defense minister, Ismail Isakov, was authorized by the defense ministers' session to tell the press that the creation of a second Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan is intended. It will, apparently, carry a CSTO label. The CSTO's Russian-led military staff has been tasked to determine the possible missions, troop level, and armament of such a base, and whether it should be designated as temporary or permanent. Another post-revolution leader, Felix Kulov, had publicly called last month for the deployment of a second Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, to be located in Osh."

News agency AKIpress

News agency AKIpress: "- We are in a difficult situation. We have difficult neighbours. We want to remain good neighbours with Uzbekistan. But we also are under attack of all world community', Roza Otunbayeva, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of KR, said yesterday at the press conference in Bishkek.

'We have received 135 letters from 122 countries with the request to not give back to Uzbekistan its citizens, located in our territory. The situation is difficult. It is necessary to take into account that we have ticklish relations with Uzbekistan. We don't want a destabilization in the region', Otunbayeva noted."


ANDIJAN REFUGEES BECOME INTERNATIONAL ISSUE FOR BISHKEK - Eurasia Daily Monitor: "'We are in a tough position. We have difficult neighbors. We want to remain friends with Uzbekistan. But we are under international pressure as well,' says Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva (Akipress, June 28). She also stressed that future skirmishes are possible in Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz government must do everything it can to prevent destabilization in the region. One of the ways to alleviate tensions between Bishkek and Tashkent and to calm Jalalabad residents is to send refugees to a third country, Otunbayeva argued (Azattyk, June 28)."

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Country profiles | Timeline: Kyrgyzstan

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Country profiles | Timeline: Kyrgyzstan: "Roza Otunbayeva"

Incase you have no idea what a Kyrgyzstan is, here is the recipe for how to make one.

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Kyrgyzstan's new leaders

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Kyrgyzstan's new leaders

Incase you missed this two weeks ago, this is a good run down of the players here...

And regarding the last blurb about Kulov, after careful thought I think this guy is brilliant. I mean he forced the current government to give him a "get out of jail" card by telling them he would like to go back to jail when that was against popular opinion. I mean if he didn't do that this up coming election could be a real gamble for his freedom depending on who is elected but now he is free and probably going to be vice president.. Really I would love to meet him thats quite amazing strategy.

Storm Warning in Kyrgyzstan


UN Seeking To Relocate Uzbek Asylum Seekers To Third Countries

Monday, June 27, 2005

Kyrgyz Officials Promise to Protect Uzbeks

Kyrgyz Newz from Bolot Beck

Review of the week main events

1. Organizers of the riot should be punished.
2. The riot cost 24 million soms for the Interior Ministry.
3. Kyrgyzstan for strengthening integration in CIS.
4. New group of Uzbek refugees could be extradited back to Uzbekistan.
5. Stability in Southern Kyrgyzstan depends on drug trafficking from Afghanistan.
6. There are forces trying to suspend the presidential election.
7. Commission on property of Akayev ends its investigation.
8. UN tries stopping extradition of Uzbek refugees back to Uzbekistan.

20 June, Monday:

1. ORGANIZERS OF THE RIOT SHOULD BE PUNISHED. Chairman of the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights Ramazan Dyryldaev urged the government on 20 June to take strong measures to secure stability in the country defending gains of the 24 March revolution. According to him, all the organizers of the 17 June riot in Bishkek as well as shooting in Osh on 13 June must be found and punished. He also accused the law enforcement agencies of negligence for their inability to detain Aidar Akayev, who, according to reports, was in Bishkek on 17 June. Dyryldaev called also the Constitutional and Supreme courts of Kyrgyzstan as illegitimate bodies. KCHR

21 June, Tuesday:

2. THE RIOT COST 24 MILLION SOMS FOR THE INTERIOR MINISTRY. The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated on 21 June that filed a criminal case against Urmat Barktabasov, who organized the disturbances in Bishkek on 17 June. According to the ministry, about 7,000 people took part in the unsanctioned meeting with aim to topple the government, more than 50 policemen were injured; two of them were still in serious conditions. In addition to it, police had to serve round a clock the four following days and te damage was 24.4 million soms (about $595,000) and would try Barktabasov to compensate the damage. Interfax

22 June, Wednesday:

3. KYRGYZSTAN FOR STRENGTHENING INTEGRATION IN CIS. Acting Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev said at a meeting of the Inter-State Council of the Eurasian Economic Commonwealth (EurAsEC) in Moscow on 22 June that Kyrgyzstan is an active supporter of deepening integration processes in the CIS and strengthening cooperation in the EurAsEC and would meet all its commitments taken before. According to him, it is necessary working out new architecture of international security and strengthening the role of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Roza Otunbaeva took part in Moscow the same day in a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministries of CSTO. PSP

23 June, Thursday:

4. NEW GROUP OF UZBEK REFUGEES COULD BE EXTRADITED BACK TO UZBEKISTAN. Acacia Shields, the Central Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said in Bishkek on 23 June that "Twenty-nine people from the Uzbek refugees' tent camp are currently being held at pretrial detention facilities in the city of Osh" and Kyrgyz authorities could extradite them back to Uzbekistan. According to her, "It is a violation of international law to return a person to a country that uses torture, and we know that Uzbekistan is such a country" and human rights defenders do not know yet what happened with the four refugees extradited earlier, whether they are alive still. The same day in the morning, Prosecutor General Azimbek Beknazarov told the parliamentary session Kyrgyzstan would return the 29 people to Uzbekistan because they are criminals and they took part in organizing the riot in Andijan. However, after a meeting with human rights activists, Beknazarov said the same day the extradition would be suspended. The same day, Amnesty International urged the Kyrgyz authorities not to forcibly return to Uzbekistan the Uzbek refugees. To receive the appeal, please send a request to IdinovN@tiscali.cz. AI, Reuters, Interfax, AKIpress

5. STABILITY IN SOUTHERN KYRGYZSTAN DEPENDS ON DRUG TRAFFICKING FROM AFGHANISTAN. Acting Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev said at a meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Moscow on 23 June that stability could not be secured on the national level only and the issue should be resolved on the regional and international levels. According to him, stability in the Ferghana Valley depends on drug trafficking and activity of the extremist forces from Afghanistan. PSP

24 June, Friday:

6. THERE ARE FORCES TRYING TO SUSPEND THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiev said in an interview with Russian agency Interfax, "On the whole the situation is stable, although…. there is a category of politician in Kyrgyzstan who want elections to be put off from July 10 until the autumn and are trying to create prerequisites for that…. They will hardly succeed…. "The republic has sufficient strength and means to keep the situation under control…. I promise that if anything of this kind is done by destructive forces, they will be offered rigorous resistance". To receive the text, please send a request to IdinovN@tiscali.cz. Interfax

7. COMMISSION ON PROPERTY OF AKAYEV ENDS ITS INVESTIGATION. The state commission on property of ex-president Askar Akayev and his family reported on 24 June it completed its investigation and issued a report on it. According to it, as a result of consolidation of all authorities in the hands of Askar Akayev, a single person managed all the financial and economic resources of the country for many years. The report includes the approximate index of 177 companies to be revised on belonging to Akayev, his family members or relatives. To receive the report, please send a request to IdinovN@tiscali.cz. AKIpress

25 June, Saturday:

8. UN TRIES STOPPING EXTRADITION OF UZBEK REFUGEES BACK TO UZBEKISTAN. On 25 June, UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Kamel Morjane arrived in Bishkek to seek an acceptable solution to the precarious situation of some 450 Uzbek asylum seekers in the country, including 29 men facing possible deportation. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour have issued a statement asking Kyrgyzstan not to send anyone back to Uzbekistan without following a proper status determination procedure. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has also made a statement of concern on behalf of the group. Reuters

Felix Kulov?

Chris, what's your opinion of Felix Kulov? He'd was once mayor of Bishkek, but went to jail on charges of corruption soon after announcing he was running for parliament (back in 2000). During the March 24 coup/revolution he was released from prison by protestors, and Bakiyev appointed him head of law enforcement and security. After about a week he claimed he'd successfully restored order, resigned from the security position, and said he was ready to go back to jail. At the time I wondered whether he was serious or whether it was a political stunt meant to improve his repuation. I still don't know. The courts dropped all charges against him, so he didn't have to go back to jail. He announced he'd run for president, but eventually made a deal with Bakiyev to be his running mate. He'll be appointed deputy prime minister after the election (and not just on an interim or acting basis, like all the politicians have claimed to be doing since March). I don't know if he's from the north or south, and I don't think he and Bakiyev are anything more than allies of convenience.

Exchange of elites?

Because most of the western world does not have a clue about Kyrgyzstan or Central Asia the news reports coming from there are often so simplified that the real political issues are left out to make room for elementary explainations. However, in the case of Kyrgyzstan's revolution it may just be a simple explaination. There are long running ethnic tensions between the north where Bishkek is located and the South with the large city of Osh. Akayev was from the north and Bakiev is from the south, according to some observers in Bishkek it seems to be a simple exchange of elites.

Kazakh chief takes no chances - Planning for December Elections - International Herald Tribune

More Kyrgyz media links

Chris, I can't figure out how to directly add links to the blog, so I'm just adding them in this post:

Kyrgyz Info

Vecherniy Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan News Agency

Kyrgyzstan Freenet (funded by the U.S. State Department)

Courtnet in Kyrgyzstan, a Peace Corps volunteer (hasn't posted since April)

Central Asian Gateway

United Coalition (I'm not sure, but it may be a political party's website)

EurasiaNet (Central Asia, Caucus News)

Central Asia News

Internews Kyrgyz

The Times of Central Asia

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Indian view on Hizb ut-Tahrir in Central Asia

Topographical Map of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan border region
Ethnic Groups of Central Asia
Oil and Gas Reserves of Central Asia
Greg Cannon will also be contributing to this blog with current events and his comments from Texas.

Kyrgyzstan or Bust

I will be flying to Kyrgyzstan on the 6th of July. Here is where you can read about my experiances there and my commentary on the elections on July 10th.
Click for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Forecast

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