05/14/2010, 00.00
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Bakiyev’s "counter-revolution"

Government buildings attacked in Osh Jalalabad and Bakten. The interim government retakes control. But the division between north and south is becoming increasingly evident. Fears of a spill over to other Central Asian republics

Bishkek (AsiaNews) - The Russian newspapers are closely following developments in what they are terming a "counter-revolution": a series of demonstrations yesterday in southern Kyrgyzstan have again shown the very real risk for the former Soviet republic falling into chaos after the bloody riots of April 7 that forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev into exile in Belarus.

A crowd of demonstrators stormed the palace of the governor of Osh, where there is a strong consensus for the former head of state, and installed the deposed governor Mamasadik Bakirov. Also in Jalalabad, capital of the province of origin of the Bakiyev clan, the government palace was attacked by "counterrevolutionaries." The same happened in Batken. As of this morning the interim government has apparently re-taken control of government buildings, witnesses told Reuters. But the situation remains tense.

The same Rosa Otunbaiev, Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, admitted: "There is a real danger to the country, but we are doing everything to prevent any attempt by Bakiyev forces to destabilize the situation in Kyrgyzstan."

According to the interim vice president, Omurbek Tekebayev, Bakiyev is behind the unrest in the south. Yesterday, a self-styled Committee in support of deposed president had threatened the formation of a veritable battalion of thousands of citizens ready to head north to "deal with" what they consider an illegal government.

All this happened while in the capital, Bishkek, the relatives of 85 victims of April 7 demonstrated in front of the Belarus embassy to seek the extradition of Bakiyev, which Belarusian leader Lukashenko has refused. In response, Minsk recalled its ambassador to Kyrgyzstan for "security reasons".

Kyrgyzstan is increasingly taking the form of yet another country that is undergoing deep north-south lacerations along the same lines as Thailand. The risk of a bloody confrontation, such as the one currently taking place in the Southeast Asian nation is real as is the possibility that chaos will spread to other Central Asian republics, always poised on a precarious political balance, frightening many.  

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See also
As Kyrgyz discuss constitutional reform, neighbours’ embargo strangling the economy
Ethnic violence in Osh kills 12, injures 130
New government says Bakiyev must go
UN reports at least 400,000 refugees in Kyrgyzstan
Violent clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks leave 49 dead and hundreds of wounded


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