Monday, June 14, 2010

Ethnic Conflict Engulfes Kyrgyzstan

From the BBC:

Escalating ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan has prompted tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks to flee the country.

A third day of fighting in the south of the country has claimed nearly 100 lives, officials say.

Witnesses speak of Kyrgyz men shooting ethnic Uzbeks and setting property alight; a BBC correspondent in the city of Osh has heard heavy gunfire.

Kyrgyzstan, which recently dethroned through a popularly-backed revolution a man who came to power through a popularly-backed revolution, both essentially bloodless, is being thrown into chaos as ethic Kyrgyz are attacking the minority ethnic Uzbeks, who mostly live in the south of the country, around the city of Osh, mentioned in the BBC report.

This Central Asian country was known to be a powderkeg. Whether it will require greater intervention that what is currently being proposed remains to be seen. No major oil pipelines, a very important factor in this region of the world for essentially all Eurasian powers (the EU, Russia, China and India all have a vested interest in access to Central Asian transit territory), cross or are proposed to cross through Kyrgyz territory, so how high of a priority it will become is unknown to this blogger. The fact that ethnic Uzbeks are being attacked can't help relations between the two countries, but who knows how Uzbekistan's dictatorial leader will respond.

In a slightly related note, if Ignatieff were still writing books, he'd probably have a very good analysis of the current goings-on in that country. Much better than I can provide.

No comments:

Post a Comment