Kyrgyz Government Falls

Word out that the Kyrgyz government has collapsed. More as it develops, links forthcoming.

At least 17 people have been killed. Bakiyev has fled the capital.

Random thoughts: I’d say Putin is probably being straight up on this. Bakiev was largely thought to be a creation, or an ally of the Kremlin, so his ouster would be counter to Russian interests.

Also, another thing to remember is this: Bakiev is from the lowlands of KZ, the Ferghana to be precise and has a lot of connections with the Uzbek majority in the Ferghana Valley. There are a lot of tribal politics in KZ still and I’m frankly surprised his government lasted as long as it did.

Update: From RIA Novosti, via Stratfor:

A leader of the United People Movement (UNM), Temir Sariev, said April 7 that the government of Kyrgyzstan has resigned, RIA Novosti reported. Sariev made the statement to journalists following reported negotiations between the Kyrgyz opposition and the government led by Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov. Opposition movement supporters have been protesting and rioting across the country, and there are unconfirmed reports of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev having left the country. The opposition has appointed Rosa Otunbayeva, the country’s former foreign minister, as chief executive, and is reportedly trying to release from custody the country’s former defense minister, Ismail Isakov, who was recently sentenced to eight years of imprisonment. The opposition has stated that if Isakov is released, then the movement will gain the support of the army. It appears that the opposition is trying to set up a new government around Bakiyev’s former Cabinet, which was dismissed en masse in October 2009, and it has resorted to a coup to achieve these ends.

It’s really hard to get a fix on what is happening in KZ right now. And with the rumors that Isakov will be released form prison to join the new government–which will be the former cabinet members dismissed by Bakiev in 2009, leaves open the possibility of Russian involvement. But still, I would err on the side of this being typical KZ-tribal-consensus politics and a revolt (obviously) against Bakiev’s increasingly autocratic rule, just like that of his predecessor, Askar Akayev.

More here and here. When you read the second link keep in mind something that is missing from it: Bakiev is from the Ferghana lowlands and the upland/lowland divide informs a great deal of Kyrgyz politics. Let me rephrase: it’s not necessarily a weakness. But I’d like to see more on the tribal and ethnic divide in Kyrgyz politics. My Kyrgyz friends are always telling me about this. I’m trying to track them down today and get a better post up on the country for tomorrow.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I have to say, what is means is the oil won’t be flowing out of that region any time soon. That country is almost like an electric fence. Touch it and you die. Sort of like all the ‘stans.

    As Churchill said, only blood flows from that region.

  • Lets begin violence and start shooting people in the streets. War. The answer to everything. Violence in the name of TRUTH.

    Woooo Hooooo

    Lets have war to end wars!

    Wait that one is taken.

  • Kyrgyzstan sits between Kazakhstan and China. Kazakhstan is the place of fastest increasing oil production and China is the potential market OR will the market be “The West”? Whoever can control potential pipelines through Kyrgyzstan has their hand on the Spigot. The US will not easily give that up.

  • And that WAS a long time ago there were a couple of sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos who are remembered for raising their fists at the Mexico Olympics. I remember them walking around campus with boxes of matches in their shirt pocket. The boxes were open and you could see the matches; the idea being that only burning it down can fix it. I am not an advocate of burning things down but the current political regime must go; I am for non-violent action. What I said in my remark meant that the people must take action soon; non-violent action because if they do not then others will make sure the violence does come.

    There are consequences coming to the people of the US that will be painful at the least. The consequences are coming because the political leadership of the US is incompetent. The individuals may not be incompetent but it is just how things work now; the leadership, Bush, Clinton, Obama, Palin doesn’t matter. The longer the incompetent rule, the longer the pain will last.

  • – eom

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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