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Kyrgyzstan

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Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan end border standoff
26 March 2016 - Kyrgyzstan and its bigger Central Asian neighbour Uzbekistan have ended a standoff over a disputed border area, pulling back troops and armoured vehicles, Kyrgyzstan's border guard service said on Saturday. A spokeswoman for the border guard service said both sides had removed their troops and armoured personnel carriers from the area near the Kyrgyz town of Kerben on Saturday morning, after talks between two border guard commanders a day earlier. That part of the frontier is not clearly demarcated. (more)

Kyrgyzstan revives pre-Soviet traditions for climate adaptation
31 July 2014 - In early April, the villagers of Samarkandek, Kyrgyzstan, react with a curious enthusiasm to the sight of apricots coming into bloom. As soon as the flowers emerge, old and young gather for the Festival of Blooming Apricots to recite poetry, sing, and dance in celebration of the oncoming harvest. (more)

Kyrgyzstan leader says new constitution is approved
27 June 2010 - The interim leaders of Kyrgyzstan said voters approved a new constitution Sunday that will allow the Central Asian nation to form a legitimate government after months of turmoil. President Roza Otunbayeva called the referendum a success, saying it took place without incident and paved the way for holding parliamentary elections in October. (more)

Kyrgyzstan says US base decision is final
6 February 2009 - Kyrgyzstan said on Friday its decision to shut a US air base was final. Asked if Washington had made any additional offers over the base, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov said: 'We have not received any proposals'. He says Kyrgyzstan wants to shut the base because it disagrees with US methods in Afghanistan. (more)

Kyrgyzstan: Youth mark world day against drugs
2 July 2006 - Hundreds of young people gathered in the northern Kyrgyzstan town of Kant to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. (more)

Kyrgyzstan: Farming of organic cotton increases
16 February 2006 - Cotton growers in southern Kyrgyzstan are joining an organic farming drive that has proven so successful that the number of participants has increased by almost sixfold since the initiative began in 2003. Organic methods increase farmers' income because the cotton sells at higher prices, with lower costs. At the same time, farmers can avoid the health and environmental problems that often accompany conventional cotton farming, with its heavy reliance on chemicals. (more)

Bakiyev takes oath of office in Kyrgyzstan
14 August 2005 - Kyrgyzstan's new President pledged in his inaugural speech that 'Kyrgyzstan won't become a place for the fulfilment of someone else's geopolitical interests. We respect interests of other nations, but interests of our own people and state, freedom, and independence of Kyrgyzstan are predominant for us.' (more)

Kyrgyz President signs resignation deal
4 April 2005 - Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, who fled the country last month after demonstrators stormed his offices, signed a resignation agreement Monday, a key step toward restoring stability in the Central Asian nation. By stepping down, he will remove the last major obstruction to holding new presidential elections, tentatively scheduled for 26 June. (more)

Ousted Kyrgyzstan leader agrees to resign without returning
2 April 2005 - Kyrgyzstan's ousted President has agreed to resign without returning to the country, the former Soviet country's parliament speaker said Saturday. Opposition leaders now in power want to secure Akayev's resignation to boost their legitimacy after the forceful takeover. (more)

Bakiyev recognizes Kyrgyzstan parliament
28 March 2005 - Interim leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev recognized Kyrgyzstan's new parliament, which was chosen in disputed elections, as legitimate, seeking to end a struggle between rival legislatures that has threatened to bring more unrest after last week's ouster of the president. (more)


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Kyrgyz vote draws critical monitor report, protest
31 October 2011 - Almazbek Atambayev may have won Kyrgyzstan's Presidential election, but his moment of glory was soured Monday by a stinging assessment from international vote monitors and news of protests in the turbulent south of the country. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have criticized irregularities. 'What we observed also made clear that serious action is needed to ensure integrity of voting, counting and tabulation,' said Corien Jonker, head of the election observation mission of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Jonker said many people were not included on the voter lists, making them unable to vote. The OSCE report also noted cases of ballot box stuffing, multiple and family voting, vote-buying, and bussing of voters. While observers would not be drawn on whether this presidential election marked a backward trend, the OSCE clearly indicated that it felt Kyrgyz authorities could have performed better. (more)

Report: Kyrgyz army implicated in ethnic bloodshed
3 May 2011 - An independent, international probe into ethnic bloodshed in southern Kyrgyzstan reported Tuesday that the military handed out weapons to Kyrgyz mobs who attacked minority Uzbeks last summer. The Kyrgyzstan Inquiry Commission's conclusion that security forces were complicit in the violence which killed hundreds of people last summer is expected to rekindle the ferocious debate over the deadly unrest. In its most damning comments, the report suggested that attacks by Kyrgyz mobs on Uzbek neighbourhoods 'if proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law, would amount to crimes against humanity.' More than 400 people, mainly minority ethnic Uzbeks, were killed in a frenzy of violence in June 2010 that rocked the southern cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad and forced hundreds of thousands of Uzbeks to flee their homes. (more)

Kyrgyz vote setback could spark violence - governor
9 October 2010 - Voters could try to foment violence in southern Kyrgyzstan should candidates they support fail to win seats in a new parliament, the governor of volatile Osh province said on Saturday. Kyrgyzstan votes on Sunday to create the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia in a year that has seen the president overthrown and hundreds of people killed in ethnic clashes in the south of the impoverished former Soviet republic. It is feared that the results may not please everybody in the the Osh region that was at the epicentre of the June bloodshed, where tension persists between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek residents and many still live in tents after their homes were destroyed. 'There are voices saying that, if they are not given enough votes, there will be a repeat of the Osh events. We will not let this happen,' the governor said in an interview. (more)

Kyrgyzstan forces arrest and torture ethnic Uzbeks - UN
20 July 2010 - Security forces have rounded up ethnic Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan and tortured some, the United Nations said on Tuesday. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, citing a range of sources in the Central Asian state, said the arrests and mistreatment violated domestic and international laws. The violations also jeopardized a fragile peace six weeks after clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in which at least 300 people were killed and thousands of homes burnt down in the main southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad. More than 1,000 people have been detained in Osh and Jalalabad since the violence in June, according to Pillay's statement. Large numbers of young men, virtually all ethnic Uzbeks, have been arbitrarily detained and subjected to mistreatment by police, military, or local militia forces, it said. (more)

Most refugees return to 'dire' state in Kyrgyzstan
25 June 2010 - Nearly all the 100,000 refugees who fled Kyrgyzstan's conflict have returned from Uzbekistan but many are in dire need of shelter because their homes have been destroyed, UN aid agencies said on Friday. The UN refugee agency UNHCR voiced concern that some ethnic Uzbeks may have been pressured by local officials to come back before a referendum to be held on Sunday but could not say how widespread the problem was. Many families who return still face prolonged displacement as their homes have been destroyed or badly damaged. Some parts of southern Kyrgyzstan, primarily Uzbek areas or villages, remain very difficult or impossible for aid workers to reach due to security concerns, according to UNICEF. (more)

Heroin trade a backdrop to Kyrgyzstan violence
24 June 2010 - The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan where ethnic violence exploded in the south this month sits on a heroin road that snakes from Afghanistan to Western Europe. It creates a nexus of power and profit that some say may have contributed to the conditions leading to the rioting that may have left thousands dead and a million in need of humanitarian aid. Few suggest that drug money lay at the root of the unrest. But it is widely seen as a source of violent struggles between powerful rival groups in Kyrgyzstan -- with recently deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his family some of the biggest players. Authorities and analysts have little doubt that Bakiyev and his relatives are at the heart of the drug trade. Kyrgyzstan's security agency claimed Thursday that Bakiyev's relatives hired Islamic militants to provoke the ethnic violence following a meeting in Afghanistan last month with representatives of the Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and other groups. (more)

Kyrgyzstan says toppled President Bakiye colluded with Islamist groups to spark violence
24 June 2010 - Kyrgyzstan's security agency claimed Thursday that relatives of the toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiye colluded with the Taliban and other Islamic militant movements to provoke the ethnic violence that has destabilized the Central Asian nation. The interim government, which overthrew Bakiyev in April, has accused him of setting off this month's bloodshed by hiring gunmen to shoot at both Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks, who have a history of ethnic tensions. The government also claims the Bakiyev family is involved in the trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan. An estimated 20 metric tonnes of Afghan drugs are transported each year through southern Kyrgyzstan, where the rioting started 10 June. The government's claim that the fighting was orchestrated was bolstered by the United Nations, which said it appeared to have begun with five simultaneous attacks by men wearing ski masks. (more)

Kyrgyz ethnic violence could have been prevented
21 June 2010 - An outburst of ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan could have been prevented if the Central Asian nation's interim rulers had acted decisively to quell the unrest, a former senior government official said on Monday. 'I believe these atrocities and much of this bloodshed should and could have been prevented,' Baisalov said. 'All in all, law enforcement (agents) and the military were not prepared to deal with this conflict.' Baisalov is the most senior official to have quit acting president Roza Otunbayeva's team. His resignation has triggered talk of growing divisions in the interim government. (more)

Kyrgyzstan: Trouble flares as vote nears
21 June 2010 - Kyrgyzstan's security forces clashed with ethnic Uzbeks on Monday in the south of the former Soviet republic, where up to 2,000 people were killed in a wave of bloodletting earlier this month. Rights groups said four people were killed and more than 20 wounded when Kyrgyz forces raided an Uzbek village near Osh, epicentre of the ethnic clashes that broke out on 10 June. Speaking during a visit to nearby Jalalabad, Kyrgyz interim leader Roza Otunbayeva pledged to press ahead with a referendum on a new constitution on Sunday despite security concerns. This month's bloodshed destroyed entire neighbourhoods and sent 400,000 people fleeing for the Uzbek border, where they are living with little food in squalid camps. (more)

Up to 2,000 dead in Kyrgyz clashes
18 June 2010 - Kyrgyzstan's interim president said Friday that 2,000 people may have died in the ethnic clashes that have rocked the country's south -- many times her government's official estimate -- as she made her first visit to a riot-hit city since the unrest erupted. 'I would increase by 10 times the official data on the number of people killed,' Interim President Roza Otunbayeva said, according to her spokesman, Farid Niyazov. She said current figures don't take into account those buried before sundown on the day of death in keeping with Muslim tradition, according to the spokesman. The United Nations said that as many as 1 million people may eventually need aid in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, including the refugees, internally displaced, host families and others who may suffer from the unrest. In a sign that tensions remain high, hundreds of ethnic Uighurs have fled communities in the capital, Bishkek, after receiving threats that they would be the next targets of violence. (more)

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