Government Overthrown in Kyrgyzstan08 Apr 2010, by Uncategorized in
At least 74 protesters are reported dead and 400 injured in what might be a successful attempt to overthrow Kyrgyzstan’s President Bakiyev. And although we are not going through Kyrgyzstan, we are watching this situation very closely.
Citizens, tired of quadrupling energy prices and suspecting President Bakiyev is padding his own wallet with military base leasing deals with the U.S. and “aid” from Russia, stormed the capital of Bishkek on April 7th. After police failed to subdue protesters with tear gas and stun grenades, they opened fire on the crowd killing scores.
It is reported that after being placed in power following his own “Tulip Revolution,” Bakiyev proceeded to rule like a mob boss cracking down on emerging protesters, enough to raise the eyebrows of human rights watch groups which was also one of the subjects of the U.N. Secretary General’s recent visit to the area. Bakiyev also apparently played Russia by accepting $300 million in “aid money” from the Kremlin with a back-door agreement that he would make the U.S. leave the Manas airbase. But soon after the Kremlin’s check was cashed, Bakiyev turned around and told the U.S. that he was increasing rent from $17.1 million a year to $60 million, and the U.S. paid up because Manas is key staging post for NATO operations in Afghanistan. Of course, Putin is feeling Bakiyev is getting what he deserves. “Neither Russia nor your humble servant have any links to the events in Kyrgyzstan,” Putin publicly stated, adding, “When Bakiyev came to power a few years ago he severely criticized his predecessor for nepotism—and now I have the impression that Bakiyev stepped on the same rake.”
Opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva has dissolved parliament and said she would head an interim government until elections are held in 6 months. She called on ousted President Bakiyev, who has fled the capital of Bishkek, to resign, which he is refusing to do via email communication. Things could become tense in nearby oil-rich Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan where we are planning to drive through.
Here’s hoping that peace is close at hand.