18 September 2005

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

This interesting IWPR article talks about new allegations from the Uzbek government about Kyrgyzstan's involvement in what happened in Andijan in May. It is generally agreed by everyone except the Uzbek government that a large number of people were killed and that this wasn't an Islamic uprising. Uzbekistan says less than 200 were killed and that most were armed rebels rather than bystanders and unarmed protestors.

Uzbekistan is saying now that the rebels were trained in Kyrgyzstan and supplied with weapons there. As usual, Uzbekistan thinks its problems stem from other more liberal countries in the area rather than its own policies. The trouble is that Uzbekistan appears to be willing, and has in the past, tried to take matters into its own hands. In 2000, it bombed a village in Kyrgyzstan that Uzbekistan claimed had Islamic militants.

It concerns me that if Uzbekistan does get huffy about things and tries to exert more control over Kyrgyzstan that the West will largely ignore the situation. Sure, they'll say something, but not necessarily do anything about it. But the West has an interest in keeping Kyrgyzstan independent and in promoting liberal policies here. How about helping KG build some hydroelectric plants?

It is interesting to note that the country with the most repressive policies (I'm not counting Turkmenistan here- who knows what's up with them) of the four in the area has the most trouble with Islamic militants. Uzbekistan clearly hasn't hit on an effective way to handle things. Maybe repression doesn't work quite so well? Hmm?


  1. It's silly to watch congress spend time tapping on a mic and asking Mr. Roberts questions to test his integrity for days on end when someone who should be paying attention to world events could be introducing the support of hydro plants in the region as highly influential to the political process. Hello tap tap tap is this thing on congress?

    Unfortunately the writer easily illustrates the process of becoming a political pawn. Give them money and they jump to square for you. It really is too bad that a private funding group couldn't get this job done in ways without strings attached. The problem is though is that everyone has a "what have you done for me lately or how will this benefit me directly" mentality.

  2. I'm even surprised General Electric hasn't gone in and gotten it done.

  3. Well, Kyrgyzstan really is rather remote. And it's generally not caused a lot of problems. So it's easy to ignore. Besides, who's ever heard of it anyway?

  4. You've jsut named three very important attributes for big business.

  5. oops Amira, that was me as french hen 1 too!