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Author Topic: Kyrgyzstan  (Read 7944 times)
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charity
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« on: April 07, 2010, 12:29:44 PM »

Well, I hate to have bad news be the first entry for a country, but here is an article I saw today about civil unrest and violence happening in Kyrgyzstan currently.  Apparently oppossition groups are trying to overthrow President Bakiyev, who apparently came to power himself in 2005 after a wave of protests called the Tulip Revolution.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/04/06/international/i110156D99.DTL
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bikeme1952
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« Reply To This #1 on: April 07, 2010, 02:26:23 PM »

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Wed, April 07, 2010 -- 2:11 PM ET
-----

Protests Appear to Have Toppled Kyrgyz Government

Large-scale protests appear to have overthrown the government
of Kyrgyzstan, an important American ally in Central Asia,
after violence between riot police officers and opposition
demonstrators on Thursday killed at least 17 people.

The country's president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, fled the capital,
Bishkek, on his plane, and the opposition declared that it
was forming its own government.

Earlier in the day, the police used bullets, tear gas and
stun grenades against a crowd of thousands massing in front
of the presidential office in Bishkek, according to witness
accounts. At least 17 people were killed and others were
wounded, officials said.

The upheaval raised questions about the future of an
important American air base that operates in Kyrgyzstan in
support of the NATO mission in nearby Afghanistan. American
officials said that as of Wednesday evening the base was
functioning normally.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/world/asia/08bishkek.html?emc=na
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A Nonny Mouse
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« Reply To This #2 on: April 25, 2010, 12:00:33 AM »

KYRGYZSTAN

Kyrgyzstan (English pronunciation: KUR-gi-stahn; Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан; Russian: Кыргызстан), officially the Kyrgyz Republic, is a country in Central Asia.  Landlocked and mountainous, it is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east.  The Tian Shan mountain range covers over 80% of the country, with the remainder made up of valleys and basins.  94% of the country is 1000 m above sea level, with an average elevation of 2,750 m.

The majority of the modern citizens in Kyrgyzstan are descendants of nomadic Turkic peoples that roamed Central Asia for centuries, and to this day, most prefer to live in the rural areas.  In the late 1800s, the territory was literally absorbed into Russia, and subsequently controlled by the USSR for almost 75 years.  When the former Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Kyrgyzstan emerged as an independent state and began to embrace the western world with serious internal reforms and democratic principles.
 

Demographics

Kyrgyzstan's population is estimated at 5.4 million (2009 est.)  Of those, 29.7% are under the age of 15 and 5.8% are over the age of 65. The country is rural: only about one-third of Kyrgyzstan's population live in urban areas. The average population density is 69 people per square mile (29 people per km˛).

The nation's largest ethnic group are the Kyrgyz, a Turkic people, who comprise 69% of the population (2007 estimate). Other ethnic groups include Russians (9.0%) concentrated in the north and Uzbeks (14.5%) living in the south. Small but noticeable minorities include Tatars (1.9%), Uyghurs (1.1%), Tajiks (1.1%), Kazakhs (0.7%), and Ukrainians (0.5%) and other smaller ethnic minorities (1.7%). 

Kyrgyzstan is one of the two former Soviet republics* in Central Asia to retain Russian as an official language; it added the Kyrgyz language to become an offically bilingual country in September 1991.  (*Kazakhstan is the other.)

The country is predominately Sunni Muslim (80%), with 17% Russian Orthodox, and 3% other.


Economy

Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity.  The country has negligible petroleum and natural gas reserves; it imports petroleum and gas at high cost.  As a result, much farming is done by hand and by horse, as it was generations ago.

Kyrgyzstan is rich in mineral resources, amoung which are substantial deposits of coal, gold, uranium, antimony, and other valuable metals.  The country's plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy.  On a local level, the economy is primarily kiosk-based in nature.  A large amount of local commerce occurs at bazaars and small village kiosks in country regions.






sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KYRGYZSTAN
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kg.html
http://countrystudies.us/kyrgyzstan/
...and the excellent preceding Kiva country posts by Natasha and Claus-Peter
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A Nonny Mouse
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« Reply To This #3 on: April 25, 2010, 03:42:13 PM »

Kyrgyz coup: Who is new leader Roza Otunbayeva?

The Christian Science Monitor
By Fred Weir, Correspondent / April 8, 2010
Moscow


Roza Otunbayeva, the woman lifted to power by Kyrgyzstan's second popular revolt in five years, is a Moscow-educated, English-speaking former foreign minister who will likely find quick acceptance in Russia and the West alike.

Ms. Otunbayeva, who served as Kyrgyz ambassador in London and Washington during the 1990s, held her first official conversation as head of the interim government with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday. Mr. Putin appeared to throw Moscow's support her way.

"It is important that the conversation was held with her in her role as the head of the government of national confidence," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. "Otunbayeva said she fully controls the situation in the country," he added.

The US is likely to back her as well. She promised today that the US Transit Center at Manas (formerly Manas airbase), a key logistical hub for the US war in Afghanistan, will remain open.

Otunbayeva is described by analysts as tough but soft-spoken, and politically moderate in her views.

Born in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh in 1950, she studied philosophy and graduated from Moscow State University in 1972. She went on to a career in the Kyrgyz Communist Party, and served as the USSR's emissary to UNESCO and ambassador to Malaysia in the 1980's. Under liberal post-Soviet President Askar Akayev, she twice was appointed as Kyrgyzstan's foreign minister.

But she broke with Mr. Akayev in 2004, accusing him of corruption, nepotism, and of undermining the relative democracy that had led Western observers to describe post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan as "the Switzerland of central Asia."

She formed her own political party, Ata Dzhurt (Fatherland), and attempted to run in 2005 parliamentary elections, but her candidacy was barred by Akayev's officials.

"We will not allow anybody to build a monarchic dynasty in our civilized republic," she told journalists, just before the March 2005 "Tulip Revolution," which swept Akayev from power.

An ardent supporter of the Tulip Revolution, Otunbayeva rapidly fell out with the new president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, whom she accused of being even more corrupt and nepotistic than the Akayev regime.

Edil Baisalov, a Kyrgyz democracy activist and key civil society leader of the Tulip Revolution who has been in political exile in Sweden since 2007, says he will return to Kyrgyzstan to work with Otunbayeva, whom he believes is a genuine democrat.

"Roza is very sincere," he says in a phone interview. "She has only a short window of opportunity in the next few months. Having talked to her over the last few months, I can attest that she is most serious about her task of introducing a series of reforms and changes that will transform the country and make civic freedoms irreversibly strong.

"Unfortunately, we know that weeks and months ahead will be quite chaotic," he adds. "But in the very least, Roza hopes to create a level playing field for all political forces to take part in the future elections."

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A Nonny Mouse
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« Reply To This #4 on: April 25, 2010, 03:48:13 PM »


Kyrgyz Mountain Kids (from uncorneredmarket's flickr photostream of Central Asia)

(see their gorgeous slideshow of more Kyrgyzstan photos here)


Issyk Kul Lake (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kippefinger/133884871/)


SW view from Pinara Hotel, Bishkek (http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenandrobert/2682176329/)


Osh Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/neiljs/3527537017/)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 05:41:29 PM by A Nonny Mouse » Logged
RichardF
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« Reply To This #5 on: June 13, 2010, 10:55:16 AM »

Deadly ethnic unrest escalates in southern Kyrgyzstan
BBC News: Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Sunday, 13 June 2010 16:05 UK

Violence is spreading in southern Kyrgyzstan on the third day of ethnic fighting which officials say has claimed nearly 100 lives.

Witnesses speak of Kyrgyz men shooting ethnic Uzbeks and setting property alight; a BBC correspondent in the city of Osh has heard heavy gunfire.

Tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks have fled to nearby Uzbekistan.

On Saturday the interim government gave security forces shoot-to-kill powers and urged Russia to send in troops.

Moscow says it has no plans to intervene. But a battalion of paratroops would be sent to protect Russian facilities in the country, Interfax news agency reported, quoting a security source.

Both Russia and the United States have military bases in the north of the country.

'Shoot-outs'

Kyrgyzstan's interim government extended a state of emergency to cover the entire southern Jalalabad region, as ethnic clashes spread there from neighbouring Osh.

One resident in Jalalabad said fighting was going on throughout the city.

"At the current moment, there are shoot-outs going on in the streets," he told the AFP news agency by telephone.

"There is a veil of smoke covering the whole city," another resident told AFP. He said buildings on fire included a shopping centre.

Without international assistance there are fears the interim authorities will struggle to contain the conflict, the BBC's Rayhan Demytrie in Osh reports.

She says buildings are ablaze in Osh - television pictures show street after street of burnt-out buildings and black smoke billowing in the air.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was ousted in April and now lives in Belarus, has denied accusations from the government that he is involved in the unrest.

'We need food'

The south of Kyrgyzstan, an ex-Soviet Central Asian state of 5.5 million people, is home to an ethnic Uzbek minority of almost one million.

Ethnic Uzbek eyewitnesses told our correspondent at a border crossing with Uzbekistan that gangs of armed Kyrgyz had been marauding through neighbourhoods, killing residents and burning homes.

One woman pleaded for help: "We need food, we need water, I have got two sons and they are little and I need water and food to survive."

Uzbek emergency officials said at least 30,000 people had crossed the border from Kyrgyzstan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross also said it had received reports of tens of thousands people fleeing fighting and looting.

There have also been reports of Kyrgyz casualties.

One Kyrgyz family the BBC spoke to by telephone said an Uzbek boy armed with a gun shot dead three Kyrgyz men who were approaching them.

Pakistan says one of its citizens, a student, has been killed in Osh and it is investigating reports that 15 others have been taken hostage.

More than 1,000 people have been wounded in the violence, the authorities say. Some reports say the casualty figures could be much higher.

The clashes are the worst ethnic violence to hit southern Kyrgyzstan since 1990, when several hundred people were killed. Kyrgyzstan was then part of the Soviet Union, which sent in troops to quell the unrest.
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« Reply To This #6 on: June 16, 2010, 01:27:36 AM »

Thanks Richard for posting about this.  I also saw that John at Kiva was going to keep us updated.  Here's hoping that the violence ends extremely soon. 
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« Reply To This #7 on: June 16, 2010, 01:44:53 PM »

What is the conflict about? etnic? religion ?  Politics ?
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« Reply To This #8 on: June 16, 2010, 02:35:12 PM »

Ethnic-Political

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyrgyzstan#2010_riots
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« Reply To This #9 on: June 16, 2010, 03:49:47 PM »

What is the conflict about? etnic? religion ?  Politics ?

There was a report in my morning paper that suggested the violence has been instigated by the son of the recently deposed President, who it is alleged paid $10 million to mercenaries to attack ethnic Uzbeks. If the report is accurate, it seems the Uzbeks are an unfortunate but convenient target for the purposes of causing unrest. The story, originally from Agence France Presse, is here.
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"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime."
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