Monday, April 12, 2010

The Roza Revolution?

BishkekImage via Wikipedia
Reports from some colleagues in Bishkek indicate that the city is almost back to normal although of the 40 Narodny stores (similar to US 7-11 stores but bigger) 26 were looted and burned.  This is what happened in 2005.  On the other hand, one explanation could be that, unlike the Orange Revolution in Kyiv, there was no food for the demonstrators in Bishkek - hence, hit the food stores.  A "mine" or small bomb exploded outside the Metro Pub - otherwise know as the American Pub - a huge hang-out for expats and Kyrgyz alike - and unreported by the media were the police who were killed during the riots.

A herd of potential leaders have emerged - approximately 14 - so the next step will be reformation of the constitution and elections.  Former president Bakiyev refuses to resign but remains in the south which is his power base.  It is unlikely that he will have very much support, however, given the manner in which PM Putin has embraced the interim government.

There has been no official comment from neighboring Khazakhstan which is allergic to this type of change, nor from Dushanbe which may face similar problems in the future.  China will likely closely monitor the situation as Uighers and other Chinese nationals have been attacked in central and eastern Kyrgyzstan.  This is not new, of course, as the Chinese are viewed with intense suspicion by the Kyrgyz.

According to the BBC, Bakiyev addressed his supporters in the southern town of Teyit and implied that he and his supporters would resist an attempt to arrest him.

As for names, Troy Etulain on twitter said: We could call this latest revolution the “Roza Revolution”, to stay (somewhat) consistent with previous FSU “revolutions”.

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