One year ago, thousands of people crowded the streets of Kyrgyzstan’s capital and ousted the country’s then-president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, seen as the leader of a thuggish, kleptocratic regime. Nearly 90 people were killed in the standoff between protesters and security forces.
All her life, Feruza dreamed of her wedding day, when, hand-in-hand with her husband-to-be, she would ascend Sulaiman Too, the sacred hill in the center of Osh. A boisterous gaggle of snap-happy friends and a videographer would follow the couple.
Kyrgyzstan’s new government shows little interest in improving inter-ethnic relations, while the international community is slow to learn the lessons of last summer’s violent clashes in southern regions, according to a recently released report on the Osh violence.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is raising an alarm about a spike in inflation in Kyrgyzstan. The country, weakened by instability over the past year, lacks the means to cope with a surge in consumer prices.
An official probe into last year's deadly ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan has blamed local Uzbek leaders and relatives of the former president for instigating the violence, but also chastised the interim government for failing to avert the unrest.
A looming trial in Kyrgyzstan could bring a sense of closure to the friends and relatives of those who died in April amid the collapse of former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s administration. But critics contend the process could do more harm than good for the still-fragile Central Asian state.
Uzbekistan celebrated the 19th anniversary of its independence on September 1 with a flourish of patriotic slogans, warnings to be vigilant about external enemies, streets closed to traffic, and orders to dissidents not to go outside. President Islam Karimov announced that the average income was now $500 a month, and the state-run press carried stories about increases in pay.
An OSCE police advisory mission had been expected to be deployed in strife-torn southern Kyrgyzstan by the end of August. But given the Central Asian nation’s muddled political situation, it now looks like the deployment won’t happen until late October, if at all.