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Bad times for Kyrgyzstan

May 2, 2010

The situation in Kyrgyzstan is not getting any better after the April events, which took away lives of 85 people. Despite the visible stability and security in the country, it feels like a calm before the storm. People are very skeptical about the interim government headed by Roza Otunbaeva. Nonpublicity of actions and several staff-shuffling in the key positions of the government are making people think that the interim government is busy dividing the power among each other.

Moreover, ex-president (?) Bakiev, who found shelter in Belarus, keeps telling that he will not resign until the situation is stable in the country. In the South of the country, where Bakiev is from, there are rumors that inter-ethnic clash may occur soon. My friends there tell that the tension is rising, as the interim government is doing nothing there.

Southern Kyrgyzstan is like a powder bomb filled with tons of socio-economic problems that is fused by inter-ethnic tension (Uzbeks and Kyrgyz). It can blow up any time. It is a matter of small spark. A friend of mine, who is a journalist for a foreign newspaper, says that yesterday there was a clash between Uzbek and Kyrgyz youth in Furkat village, which is near the city of Osh. There is no information how it ended.

If the interim government will not take urgent measures on these issues in the South, the inter-ethnic conflict is unavoidable. And if it happens, it will not be like in 90s – few houses burnt down and several people died. Then, majority were poor and no one expected the conflict to happen. Today, when there are a lot of rich people and obtaining illegal weapons is not a problem, the conflict, in case it occurs, will be of big scale with great number of victims.

PS. Border with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are still closed due to unstable situation in Kyrgyzstan. It is creating huge problems for Kyrgyz business. Dordoi, the biggest market in Central Asia, is not working properly, as wholesale buyers from Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan cannot come to Kyrgyzstan due to closed borders.

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