Kyrgyzstan, One Month Later

Last week saw ongoing violence in Kyrgyzstan between supporters of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and supporters of the new Otunbayaeva administration. Two people were killed; at least twenty were wounded.

On May 13th, the provisional governor of Kyrgyzstan’s Southern Jalalabad province, Bektur Asanov, was bodily removed from office by Bakiev supporters. After a brief standoff with Ministry of Interior police personnel, the government forces stepped aside and allowed Asanov to be dragged off by “young men in tracksuits.” This wasn’t the only pro-Bakiev incident. Protestors occupied Jalalabad’s central square. And, more ominously, the Bakiev-appointed governor of Osh, another Southern province returned to office. (Eurasianet.org is an excellent source for Kyrgyz news.)

Is this is the final death throes of the outgoing Bakiev regime or are we looking at the start of an ongoing protest? As I discussed in a previous post, it’s an open question whether this cobbled-together coalition of opposition leaders actually has the experience or the political power to govern. This is compounded by Russian involvement in Kyrgyz politics and the substantial influence that drug lords are said to possess.

We’re no closer to answer than we were a month ago. The Otunbayaeva coalition government is still in office, but they seem unable to government Southern provinces or stop looting and violence in the north by their own supporters. Is the violence over? Are we looking at perpetual revolution? We’re still waiting for time to tell.

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