Central Asia: No Justice, No Peace


August 9, 2010:  The Kyrgyz governments believes that recent armed demonstrations in the capital were actually a poorly planned coup attempt. The government also believes that there are two outlaw groups trying to stir up trouble and take over the government. One group is led by deposed president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, while the other is a federation of several criminal and political gangs. Meanwhile, the economy is a mess because of all the unrest, and this has created more desperate people who are inclined to violent action.

The U.S. is continuing to negotiate the construction of a counter-terrorism training center, called Osh Polygon, near the southern city of Osh. But the interim government doesn't want to make a decision, and prefers to leave it to the new government, which will be elected late next year.

Meanwhile, not a lot of reconstruction is happening in the south, where recent ethnic unrest (caused by followers of deposed president Kurmanbek Bakiyev) killed over 300 people and caused 400,000 to flee their homes. Many of those homes were subsequently looted, damaged or destroyed. When the refugees returned, they found there was still lots of unrest, and as many as a quarter of them left again, or are planning to leave, the area. Most are ethnic Uzbeks, who were the main target of the Bakiyev inspired violence.

In Tajikistan, police recently arrested another ten suspected Islamic terrorism suspects. That makes 115 arrested so far this year. Weapons and documents have also been seized. There are some Islamic terrorists in the country, but not enough to carry out any attacks.

August 5, 2010: In the Kyrgyz capital, several anti-government demonstrations were broken up by soldiers and police when the action became violent.



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