04/09/2010, 00.00
Send to a friend

Kyrgyzstan faces a prolonged stalemate between Bakiyev and opponents

While the protesters mourn their victims, the interim government tries to restore order in cities to the north. President Bakiyev has fled south announcing that he will not hand over the power conferred on him by the voters, but excludes an armed response. The role of the United States and Russia.

Bishkek (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thousands of demonstrators took to the main square in the capital this morning to mourn the 75 victims of the uprising, after another night of clashes and arrests. Yesterday the opposition leaders seized power and proclaimed a provisional government announcing democratic elections within a few months, promising the abolition of recent energy price increases and declaring that the U.S. military base will remain open. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who at first thought to have fled the country, has announced that he has settled in the southern region of Jalalabad, his real stronghold.

Bakiyev, speaking on Russian radio Moscow Ekho, has announced that he will not give up power and that the demonstrators are plunging the country into chaos, but denied he is arming its supporters.

Both parties seemed concerned to emphasise in their public interventions that there will be no further armed clashes and claim to have full public support. Experts comment that the risk of a prolonged stalemate is high, with unpredictable consequences, given that tensions remain between the industrialized north and poor south of the country with a strong ethnic Uzbek component, divided by the Tian Shan mountain range. In recent days, riots erupted in northern cities such as Bishkek, Naryn, Talas, while large southern cities such as Osh and Jalalabad remained calm.

Leader of the opposition and interim government, Rosa Otunbayeva, stresses that they are working to restore order, before carrying out the reforms announced. Meanwhile, last night in Bishkek, the police started to patrol the streets after being gone for a day. But during the night armed groups continued to invade the streets and there were sporadic shootings. To the point that local sources report the existence of voluntary "brigades" in many city quarters to defend residents.

There is still no exact data on the exact number of dead.   The Ministry of Health puts the death toll so far at 75, with more than 1,000 wounded. Analysts note that the interim government needs to quickly restore order, if it wants to consolidate power.

In seeking international recognition, Otunbayeva announced that the change will not affect government policy towards Afghanistan and the U.S. military base at Manas. Meanwhile, U.S. military authorities said the operations from the base were "suspended", without clarifying whether they will begin again. The leaders also promised that the power companies will be nationalized and prices set.

Russia, which considers the former Soviet republic as part of its traditional sphere of influence, is cautious.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
People take to the streets demanding the resignation of Bakiyev
Opposition takes to the streets, threatens to bring down President Bakiyev
More violence in Bishkek, but Sunday’s elections appear safe
Clashes, the provisional government in Bishkek resumes control of the south
Accused of embezzlement and abuse of power, Bakiyev’s son disappears


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”