The essay will explore the role of the economy and social well-being and its impact on the transition to peace. I advance two arguments: First, when economic opportunities diminish, grievances are more likely to become expressed through violence, while in an environment of increasing economic opportunities, political grievances will not result in violence, even if the grievances are considerable. Second, when economic and social opportunities exist, the transition to peace is more sustainable. Hence in post-conflict peacebuilding, more effort should be made to create economic opportunities in order to increase the probabilities of lasting peace. I examine these arguments in the case of several Central Asian countries....
The ousting of President Askar Akaev from power in March 2005 has resulted
in a deteriorating security situation and an increase in the demand for and
use of small arms in Kyrgyzstan.
The Small Arms Survey study published in 2004 (MacFarlane and Torjesen,
2004) found that small arms were less of a problem in Kyrgyzstan than commonly
assumed: few families owned arms; demand was limited; and trafficking
was modest. While the proliferation of small arms may pose a serious threat
in countries such as Afghanistan, the research found that this assertion could
not be applied to Central Asia as a whole.
A new assessment carried out in 2006 found some important changes, which
are presented in an epilogue to this report (see Section VIII, below). While
overall possession is still likely to be low, the rates for new persons acquiring
firearms are growing fast. The law enforcement system has less control and
oversight than previously over the population, and organized crime has gained
a stronger foothold in Kyrgyzstan in recent years. The country has recently
also witnessed several shoot-outs between the government and armed radical
religious groups. The 2004 report detailed the weapons possession and use of
the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), but found little evidence of firearm
possession among other groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir. Recent (2005-06)
incidents point to increased weapons possession among radical religious groups
aside from the IMU....
December 9, 2005 Central Asia-Caucasus Institute // Johns Hopkins University // Uppsala University
Beginning with Kyrgyzstan's independence from the Soviet Union in
1991 and continuing through to the presidential turnover in 2005, this
essay examines the social, political and economic processes the country
In a fresh analysis of a state still very much in transition, the authors
also make comparisons between the Kyrgyz administration before
March 2005 - when President Askar Akayev was ousted after 15 years
in power - and the government today under new leadership.
Rather than assign blame for Kyrgyzstan's troubles, the authors seek
to define problems and propose solutions. They present, and attempt
to answer, a series of important questions: Is there an alternative to
democratic development for Kyrgyzstan? Can reforms be successful in
the absence of effective public administration?...
December 6, 2005 Q2VudHJlIGQnw6l0dWRlcyBkZXMgcG9saXRpcXVlcyDDqXRyYW5nw6hyZXMgZXQgZGUgc8OpY3Vy
Aprxc3xa8s la Géorgie en novembre 2003 et l'Ukraine en
décembre 2004, c'est au tour du Kirghizstan Ã xc3xaatre
secoué par un mouvement de contestation populaire. Par
effet de contagion, le Kirghizstan devient ainsi la
troisixc3xa8me ancienne république soviétique Ã vivre une
"révolution démocratique" en moins d'un an et demi. Ces
trois cas présentent certes des points en commun, mais,
malgré les apparences, il existe d'importantes
différences. Essayons d'y voir plus clair....
November 3, 2005 Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
The most important centre of international terrorism remains
Afghanistan, where terrorists and rebels are still being trained. In
general, terrorist organizations in Central Asia pose a threat to
Kyrgyzstan. Several precautions have to be taken on different levels
against this menace, mostly preventive measures, for example actions on
the socio-economic level and a judiciary reform. The article also deals
with those state-institutions responsible for the fight against terrorism
(for example: the Ministry for National Security); organizations,
programmes and initiatives which Kyrgyzstan is a member of and which
are of relevance in the fight against terrorism; and the
reform of the armed forces of the republic from 2002 until 2010, which
concerns the MOD, troops of the Interior Ministry, the National
Security-Service, the Ministry for Ecology and# Extraordinary Situations,
the National Guard, the Service for State Security, the Border-Control-
Service and the Justice Ministry's Protection Department....
Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in August 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.
The situation in Somalia continued to deteriorate as al-Shabaab stepped up its attacks and fighting intensified in Mogadishu.
Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government was further weakened in August. The month began with an attempted coup and culminated with the mayor of the southern city of Osh – the epicenter of June’s pogroms – defying the President’s orders to resign.
In Kashmir, anti-Indian protests that began in June worsened in August with at least 40 demonstrators killed in clashes with the police, bringing the total death toll to over 60.
In Northern Ireland dissident Republicans launched a spate of bomb attacks throughout the month in an attempt to derail the peace process. Meanwhile, in Bahrain over 200 people, including high-level Shiite political leaders, have been reported arrested in a government crackdown ahead of October’s parliamentary elections, fueling almost daily clashes between security forces and Shiite opposition supporters.
CrisisWatch identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Kosovo in September, as the EU makes intensive diplomatic efforts to produce a UN General Assembly resolution acceptable to both Serbia and Kosovo that could serve as a basis for a comprehensive settlement.
CrisisWatch also identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Israel, as direct peace talks between Israel and Palestine – the first in almost two years – are due to restart in Washington on 2 September....
Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in April 2010. Soldiers and protesters clashed in Bangkok in the worst violence to hit the Thai capital in almost two decades. Turmoil also shook Kyrgyzstan where President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a violent rebellion. Unrest grew amid weeks of protests against painful utility price increases and popular discontent with the corruption that characterised Bakiyev’s rule. April also saw heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the sinking of a South Korean ship in late March. 46 people were killed when the ship was hit by what investigators now say was most likely an external explosion. North Korea has denied involvement and South Korea has so far avoided directly blaming its neighbour. The security situation also deteriorated in India, where Maoist insurgents killed 76 paramilitary troops in their most deadly attack in decades, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rebel activity and clashes with government soldiers destablised several provinces across the country’s east and north west. CrisisWatch identifies a Conflict Risk Alert for Sudan after flawed elections which returned President Omar al-Bashir to power. With opposition parties contesting the results, and signs of increased violence in both the South and Darfur, there is now a heightened risk that the situation could worsen ahead of next year’s planned referendum on the South’s independence.
CrisisWatch also warns that mounting political tensions in Nepal could lead to new confrontation between the Maoists and the government....
August 19, 2010 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Weeks after the June outbreak of violence in the South, Kyrgyzstan remains gripped by instability and uncertainty regarding issues ranging from rebuilding in the South, to the upcoming October 10th parliamentary election. There is a strong potential for continued conflict in the country if these issues are not addressed. This factsheet provides a summary of a presentation made by Dr. Eric M. McGlinchey of George Mason University, recently returned from Osh, Jalalabad, and Bazar-Korgon. He discusses common explanations within southern Kyrgyzstan for the origins of the conflict, as well as their policy implications, both for the international community and for Kyrgyzstan....
January 10, 2008 Department for International Development United Kingdom
Department for International Development (DFID) has been active in Kyrgyz Republic since 1997. Current expenditure on the bilateral programme is about Â£7 million per year, consisting of a number of bilateral, technical assistance projects, support to programmes, and a new sector budget support operation. Our programme will increase further in size by 2010. Key themes of DFID support are governance, service delivery, accountability and HIV and AIDS.
Poppy plant is beautiful with fresh green leaves and delicate petals in pink, red and purple hues. It is a marvelous addition as if God had leisure as well as pleasure to clip such an ornament to our beautiful planet. The landscape laden with breezy poppy crop rustling in the bright dewy morning struck human heart as any xe2x80x98wild beauty' would, in some otherwise desolate and deserted regions when a tinkering cold blue water stream meandered nearby. A shepherd sat on the top of a boulder and inspired to sing while peace and tranquility prevailed. He thus created a melody that was conjoined by an orchestra laid by the nature. His xe2x80x98sandarra' surprisingly added to the depth of nature's frivolity in enticing human soul. That was the romantic scene of yesteryears which, driven by greed and grandeur seeking ventures, particularly after the second half of the 20th Century degenerated into an instrument of social destability, crime and violence that threaten the societies as well as the sovereign states....
In Soviet times, about 98 collective farms (kolkhoz) in the Issyk-Kul region of
Kyrgyzstan provided 80% of the Soviet Union's legal supply of opium, or 16% of the
world's legal supply roughly from 1916 to 1973. Kyrgyzstan is at present nevertheless
not considered to be either a main producer or consumer of hard drugs. Instead, it is
increasingly being used as a transit territory for Afghan opiates bound for Russia and
Europe, though a domestic consumption is developing, thus leading to the rise of HIV
infections and drug related crimes....
July 21, 2010 United Nations Institute for Training and Research // Operational Satellite Applications Programme
This is a summary of the quantitative
damage assessments conducted over
the cities of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Bazar-
Kurgan, based on a detailed analysis of
post-crisis satellite imagery acquired on
18 and 21 June 2010. A total of 2,843
affected buildings were identified within
these affected cities. Of this total, 2,677
buildings were totally destroyed and 166
were severely damaged.
National, bilateral and multilateral conflicts overlap in Central Asia. Moscow's influence has waned, especially in Afghanistan, where the Taliban came to power with the support of Washington. In the east and south, the various border disputes between India, China and Pakistan make the region eve#n more dangerous, because of the presence of nuclear weapons.
Sources : The Military Balance 1999-2000, IISS, Brassey's, London, 1999; The World Bank Atlas 1999-2000, World Bank, Washington, 1999.
By opening its borders to some 100,000 vulnerable ethnic Uzbek refugees fleeing deadly violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, the Uzbekistan government demonstrated rare humanitarianism and respect for international law. After the clashes subsided, Uzbekistan arranged with Kyrgyzstan to encourage the refugees to voluntarily return for Kyrgyzstan’s June 27 constitutional referendum. While Uzbekistan and its citizens should be commended for their humane actions they should be encouraged, along with their neighbors, to provide temporary asylum to any refugee at risk and cease any deportation of those still fearing persecution if returned to Kyrgyzstan....
The violent unrest in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, which resulted in the deaths of as many as 2,000 people in the week following 10-11 June 2010, is the result of ineffective governance and extensive poverty. The cycle of violence began on 6-7 April when an impoverished and angry population resorted to force to change the corrupt political regime of the president, Kurmabek Bakiyev.
The interim government headed by Roza Otunbayeva that then came to power in Bishkek struggled to establish its legitimacy in face of corruption scandals involving key deputies and officials. The violence in southern Kyrgyzstan two months later, centred on the cities of Osh and Jalalabad, showed how ineffective the new leaders' control had been. Yet the government persisted with the holding on 27 June of a referendum on a new constitution, which - though it passed off peacefully, and the reported turnout was higher-than-expected - in itself can do little to meet the country’s current humanitarian and security needs....
Signaling a sense of strategic urgency to counter recent Taliban gains, the Northern Distribution Network is being adapted to handle the transit of weaponry and hardware destined for US and NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. The Northern Distribution Network (NDN) started out as a conduit for non-military supplies, including humanitarian assistance and reconstruction materials. But with the strategic situation for US and NATO troops in Afghanistan becoming more challenging, the scope of NDN’s operations is expanding. The United States has secured "lethal transit" deals with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Tom Tanner, the US embassy spokesman in Astana told EurasiaNet on October 13. Both the Kyrgyz Ministry of Defense and the US Embassy in Bishkek confirmed earlier that the Manas Transit Center is facilitating the shipment of military freight going to Afghanistan. Permission to use Manas in this way was granted under the terms of the new agreement struck between Washington and Bishkek on June 23, and did not need to be negotiated separately, the US embassy revealed....
The threat posed by Islamic militant groups in Central Asia, especially in the Kyrgyz and Tajik portions of the Ferghana Valley, appears to be growing, according to the US State Department’s recently released annual report on terrorism.
The State Department’s 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism, released April 30, suggest that the membership in Kyrgyzstan of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a group that the State Department says advocates "the establishment of a borderless, theocratic Islamic state throughout the entire Muslim world," grew from 5,000 in 2006 to 15,000 in 2008.
The members live mainly in the ethnic-Uzbek southern region of Kyrgyzstan, but "are reportedly achieving an increased following in the north as well," the report said. "Kyrgyz officials reported growing support for and bolder public outreach by HT."
While Hizb-ut-Tahrir is growing in Kyrgyzstan, that does not mean that people there subscribe to all of its radical beliefs, asserted Eric McGlinchey, a Central Asia expert at George Mason University.
"The report highlighted the fact that Hizb ut-Tahrir was radical and anti-Semitic and all that, which it is. But when you take a look at the rank-and-file members in Kyrgyzstan, they may be knowledgeable about that rhetoric, but that’s not the reality of Hizb ut-Tahrir for the vast majority who are part of it," he said. Most members are more attracted to the group’s social welfare activities and small-scale development projects, which fill a space that the ineffective government is unable to, McGlinchey said....
December 19, 2006 Central Eurasia Project // Open Society Institute
EurasiaNet provides information and analysis about political, economic, environmental and social developments in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as in Russia, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. The web site also offers additional features, including newsmaker interviews a#nd book reviews. Based in New York, EurasiaNet advocates open and informed discussion of issues that concern countries in the region. The web site presents a variety of perspectives on contemporary developments, utilizing a network of correspondents based both in the West and in the region. The aim of EurasiaNet is to promote informed decision making among policy makers, as well as broadening interest in the region among the general public. EurasiaNet is operated by the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute. EurasiaNet offers daily news under Today's Wires which consolidates of news and information from outside sources, including the British Broadcasting System, Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty and Interfax. Every day, reports from these and other news services are also posted on the Resource Pages of all the countries in the region; Regional Datebook keeps you ahead of the curve on upcoming events throughout the Caucasus and Central Asia. EurasiaNet has seven different departments that feature original content on political, economic, social, cultural and environmental developments through an extensive network of contributors providing material that keeps readers on top of regional developments. The departments include: Eurasia Insight: Analytical articles on current events that place emphasis on anticipating future developments; Business and Economics: Articles geared towards closely examining deals and trends and their possible impact on economic development; Q&A; & Recaps : Interviews with news makers and opinion shapers on regional issues; Civil Society: Covering environment, human rights and culture thoroughout the region; Resource Pages provide comprehensive data and links to other news sources on the web. EurasiaNet also features a variety of other resources as well. Indeed, EurasiaNet is perhaps the most comprehensive source for news and information about the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia found anywhere on the World Wide Web.
Youth movements played a critical role in the recent wave of revolutions in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine and -- to a lesser extent -- in Kyrgyzstan. New youth groups are appearing in Russia and Central Asia, much to the dismay of leaders there. "The Power of Youth" is an ongoing RFE/RL project that will look at how youth movements are born, mature, and make the transition to the postrevolutionary setting or endure under repression..
Kyrgyzstan holds parliamentary elections on 27 February and presidential elections on 30 October. Both polls will have great significance for the country.
The electorate in Kyrgyzstan is the most politically active in Central Asia. The laws of Kyrgyzstan are often viewed as too restrictive by some international rights groups, but it must be admitted that Kyrgyzstan's laws allow more opportunity for political expression than those in any other Central Asian country. There is still something of an opposition press in Kyrgyzstan, providing a format for opposition parties and movements to make their views known....
Today, the United States is engaged in a war against radical Islam. A key part of this conflict is the "war of ideas." The "war of ideas" will largely be won or lost depending on how moderate Islam succeeds against radical Islam. Established in 2006, the American Foreign Policy Council's Central Asia Counterterrorism Project is designed to provide American politicians and journalists with new sources of information from Central Asia about ways to effectively wage this war.
July 12, 2011 Central Asia Caucasus Institute // Silk Road Studies Program
2010 was a dramatic year in Kyrgyzstan. In April, a revolt unseated the country`s leader for the second time in five years. In the aftermath of this upheaval, deadly ethnic riots in June took the life of over 400 people in southern Kyrgyzstan and led to the displacement of more than 100,000. After these events, parliamentary elections were held in October bringing hope for sta-bility and peaceful developments.
Those elections inspired observers to talk about a historical watershed of de-mocratic politics and a parliamentary system in Central Asia. Yet in order to understand the challenges and opportunities ahead and assess whether a fresh start for Kyrgyzstan is likely, it is not sufficient to look at elections, or in-deed the formal structure of government. It is necessary to go beyond these to seek an understanding of how Kyrgyzstan‟s politics actually have come to work since independence.
July 8, 2011 Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior
In Kyrgyzstan the risk of instability remains.
The country practices genuine elections
and power-sharing, is open to international
engagement, and promotes basic rights
such as free speech. In 2010 Kyrgyzstan
adopted a new Constitution, moving
away from a super-presidential model to
a system in which the president and the
parliament share power more equally. Its
economic performance is positive: the IMF
assessed that the economy recovered
quickly due to improved security and
political stability, better-than-expected
agricultural performance and a timely fiscal
stimulus. However, it is the only ex-Soviet
state to undergo two turbulent regime
changes – the so called ‘Tulip-1’and
‘Tulip-2’ revolutions of 2005 and 2010 –
and is affected by a strong regional split
between the North and the South, one of
the factors behind both ‘revolutions’. This
makes Kyrgyzstan a country of paradoxes
where it mixes positive developments with
severe threats to its stability....
This report concludes that criminal investigations into the 2010 violence have been marred by widespread use of arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment, including torture. Prosecutorial authorities have refused to investigate allegations of torture, and courts have relied heavily on confessions allegedly extracted under torture to sentence defendants to long prison sentences after court hearings in which threats and other forms of intimidation and, in some cases, physical attacks against defendants and their lawyers went unchallenged. The profoundly flawed investigations and trials, mainly affecting the ethnic Uzbek minority, undermine efforts to promote reconciliation and fuel tensions that might one day lead to renewed violence....
Failure to deliver justice for the killing, rape and torture of civilians could lead to further clashes, Amnesty International warned ahead of the first anniversary of the violence that shook southern parts of Kyrgyzstan.
Four days of violent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in the Osh and Jalal-Abad areas on 10-14 June 2010 left about 470 people dead, thousands injured and hundreds of thousands displaced.
According to local observers, 74 per cent of those killed were Uzbek and 25 per cent Kyrgyz.
One year on, Amnesty International's briefing, Still waiting for justice, calls on the Kyrgyzstani authorities to establish the truth about what happened and provide justice for the thousands of victims and their families.
"The failure to bring to justice those behind the violence could provide fertile soil for the seeds of future turmoil and future human rights violations," said Nicola Duckworth, Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.
"While the authorities have made some positive steps, such as providing compensation for the victims and promising to review allegations of torture, they still have much to do to address the litany of human rights violations that occurred during and after the violence and restore the confidence of all ethnic groups in Kyrgyzstan that they have an equal stake in the country’s future.”
About 20 cases of rape and other sexual violence have been documented during the violence but human rights monitors believe the real number to be much higher. Many of the victims were Uzbek women and girls and the perpetrators mostly Kyrgyz men....
The popular uprisings that swept the Arab world in early 2011 have been compared by some commentators to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In an exhilarating push for democratic change, long-term rulers have been ousted and others challenged seriously for the first time. But despite what has been achieved, many voices from the region have urged caution: even in those countries which have seen the greatest changes, the internal security apparatus and other structures of repression have remained largely intact and the struggle for real constitutional reform continues. The ability of a state to undergo political change without violence is widely considered a hallmark of a mature democracy (although the record shows that democracies, even very old ones, are hardly immune from violent conflict). Which combination of circumstances, then, makes the onset of mass killing more likely and which conditions lower the risk of a state, even an autocratic one, descending to bloody violence? It is to help answer such questions that Minority Rights Group International has developed the Peoples under Threat index. Since 2005 Peoples under Threat has pioneered the use of statistical analysis to identify situations around the world where communities are most at risk of mass killing. On numerous occasions since the index was first developed, countries that have risen sharply up the table have later proved to be the scene of mass human rights violations....