WELCOME TO IWPR'S REPORTING CENTRAL ASIA, No. 497, June 18, 2007
RENEWED FOCUS ON US BASE IN KYRGYZSTAN As new way of opposition to the
American military presence in Central Asia gathers strength, some believe the
real pressure is coming from Moscow. By Jipara Abdrakhmanova in Bishkek
UZBEKISTAN: ANGER AT BORDER HOMES DEMOLITION Relocated residents complain of
inferior homes and loss of income. By an IWPR contributor in Tashkent
KYRGYZSTAN: KULOV CONFEDERATION PLAN SLATED Idea of union with Russia attacked
by establishment and opposition alike. By Taalaibek Amanov in Bishkek
**** NEW AT IWPR
KURK SCHORK AWARDS DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES APPROACHING (June 15) The deadline for
entries to the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism is just two weeks
away. Two annual prizes of $5,000 each are awarded - one to an international
freelance print/internet-based reporter; and the second to a local journalist
in the developing world. The deadline for receipt of emailed or posted entries
is June 15th.
The awards are being administered by IWPR, on behalf of the Kurt Schork
Memorial Fund, with the two winners celebrated at an event to be held in London
in November. A video of last years event hosted by Christiane Amanpour of CNN
can be seen on IWPRs website www.iwpr.net
For details on how to apply electronically or by post, contact Alan Davis
([EMAIL PROTECTED]) or click here
COALITION FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE (CIJ) TRIAL REPORTS ARCHIVE: When CIJ
closed in 2006, it donated its searchable Trial Reports Archive to IWPR in
recognition of our own reporting work and to ensure these courtroom reports
would remain available to the public. Milosevic and other ICTY Trial Reports as
well as Sierra Leone Reports are now available at
MIANEH is a new, independent web-based initiative run as a project by the
Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Mianeh aims to be an open space for ideas,
news and debate where writers in Iran can reach out to each other as well as to
those outside the country who are interested in learning more about the vibrant
and dynamic society that is Iran today. Go to <http://www.mianeh.net/> to find
NEW PODCAST: THIS WEEK ON IWPR A regular audio programme produced by IWPR US,
highlighting IWPR news and analysis on issues of conflict, human rights and
international justice, written by our contributors around the world. To listen
to the programme or for details on how to subscribe see
IRAQ PHOTO DIARIES, NIGHT RAIDS: Peter van Agtmael documents the late-night
raids carried out by American and Iraqi troops against the homes of suspected
insurgents. This series of photographs was awarded a 2nd place in the General
News Stories category at the World Press Photo Awards in 2007.
NEWS BRIEFING CENTRAL ASIA is a new concept in regional reporting, comprising
analysis and news behind the news in Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Available at: www.NBCentralAsia.net
REPORTING CENTRAL ASIA RSS: http://www.iwpr.net/en/rca/rss.xml
TURKMEN RADIO: INSIDE VIEW is an IWPR radio training and broadcast project for
Turkmenistan. View at: http://www.iwpr.net/?p=trk&s=p&o=-&apc_state=henh
RECEIVE FROM IWPR: Readers are urged to subscribe to IWPR's full range of free
electronic publications at:
GIVE TO IWPR: IWPR is wholly dependent upon grants and donations. For more
information about how you can support IWPR go to:
RENEWED FOCUS ON US BASE IN KYRGYZSTAN
As new way of opposition to the American military presence in Central Asia
gathers strength, some believe the real pressure is coming from Moscow.
By Jipara Abdrakhmanova in Bishkek
There have been sporadic rumblings of hostility to the presence of a United
States military base in Kyrgyzstan in the past two years, but in recent weeks
the discontent has hardened into a mainstream political issue.
There have been moves in parliament to remove the base, although the government
remains in favour of keeping it. Some commentators believe that as well as a
groundswell of popular opposition to the US base, Kyrgyzstan is also coming
under pressure from larger regional neighbours who would like to see the
American military leave Central Asia.
On June 2, about 50 people from various political parties and NGOs of
Kyrgyzstan held a protest outside the US embassy building in the capital
Bishek. Waving banners bearing messages such as Yankee Ketsin Yankee Go
Home - the protesters demanded a review of the terms under which the Americans
use the Ganci air base, located at the Manas international civil airport just
outside Bishkek, and a deadline for its closure.
They also asked the authorities to draft legislation covering the status of
foreign military and civilian personnel stationed in Kyrgyzstan.
At the invitation of the then president Askar Akaev, the US-led coalition
carrying out operations in Afghanistan set up the Ganci base in late 2001,
after the September 11 attacks on the US.
The protests reflect rising concern about the Ganci base in the wake of the
death of Alexander Ivanov, a petrol tanker driver at the base who was shot dead
by a US serviceman in December. Under the 2001 agreement on the base, the US
military are not subject to Kyrgyz jurisdiction, an issue which generated
considerable anger when the US serviceman concerned was posted away from
Kyrgyzstan instead of facing prosecution, as some had hoped.
Another issue focused on by opponents of the US presence is that the 50,000 US
dollars offered as compensation to Ivanovs widow is inadequate.
The demonstrators also raised longer-standing allegations that people living
near the base have suffered health problems because of US planes dumping
surplus fuel before landing. Protesters called for an environmental study of
the area within a 50 kilometre radius of the Ganci base.
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT JOIN THE FRAY
The latest protests followed a resolution which five parliamentary committees
passed on May 23 calling for the US military to withdraw from Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is showing that it is incapable of taking action on Alexander
Ivanovs death, parliamentarian Rashid Tagaev told IWPR. We are important
yet we cant do anything about an American soldier who shot one of our
An additional concern raised by the deputies was a suggestion that the Ganci
air base might be used as a launchpad for operations against Iran in the event
of a conflict. They felt this would present a direct and unwarranted threat to
Kyrgyzstans own security.
Parliamentarian Iskhak Masaliev, who is co-chairman of the Communist Party of
Kyrgyzstan, fears that the country could be dragged unwillingly into larger
There should not be a single [foreign] military base in Kyrgyzstan. This is a
real threat to our country. Because of the foreign military base on our
territory, other nations may automatically regard Kyrgyzstan as their enemy,
he said. Sooner or later, unless the airbase is removed, we will be dragged
into conflicts between NATO forces and eastern countries.
However, Masaliev accepts that a motion to end the US presence is unlikely to
be supported by a majority of his fellow members of parliament. In his view,
their reluctance to act stems from the significant revenue the Kyrgyz state
earns from the rent paid by the US government.
COULD KYRGYZ BASE BE USED TO ATTACK IRAN?
Jamil Abrakhmanov is another Kyrgyz politician opposed to the base both because
of the potential risks to civilians living around it and because it could make
Kyrgyzstan a player in the troubled world of Middle Eastern politics, at a time
when it could use investment from wealth Arab states.
If bombing attacks are launched on Iran or other countries from the airbase,
it will undoubtedly affect the security of our country. We should not forget
that the policies of Kyrgyzstan are those of a small country that is forced to
manoeuvre between the superpowers, he said.
Abdrakhmanov continued, If threats do arise on our borders, they can be
resolved within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the
Collective Security Treaty Organisation. In my opinion, these forces are quite
sufficient to stop attacks by international terrorists, he said.
On May 3, US ambassador Marie Yovanovitch rejected as ridiculous the rumour
that Ganci would be used for an attack on Iran. Speaking on May 25, Kyrgyz
prime minister Almazbek Atambayev said that on no account would the base be
used for such an attack.
OFFICIAL LINE STILL FAVOURS RETAINING BASE
Bolot Shamshiev, an advisor to Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiev, believes the
original contract was flawed and needs to be revised.
I am in favour of reviewing the agreement, and if there is no longer a need to
fight international terrorism in Afghanistan, then Kyrgyzstan does not need
this air base, said Shamshiev.
However, the official position continues to be in favour of keeping the base.
We believe it makes sense for the [US-led] coalition forces to be stationed in
Kyrgyzstan, said Kanat Tursunkulov, director of the foreign ministry
department dealing with western countries.
The arguments made by those who believe the air base is no longer necessary
are wrong. Military operations in Afghanistan are still under way and will
continue in the near future.
Tursunkulov dismissed as unfounded suggestions that the base might be used in
any US attack on Iran.
Under the mandate, this base will only be used for Operation Enduring Freedom
in Afghanistan. This has been stressed officially by both Kyrgyz and American
officials, he said.
President Bakiev proposed setting a deadline for a US withdrawal almost as soon
as he came to power in 2005, but the Kyrgyz leadership backtracked on the issue
after a visit from the then secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld. In 2006,
US-Kyrgyz relations were again strained, but this time the argument seemed to
be about how much the Americans should pay in rent and other fees. After
prolonged negotiations, Washington agreed to a one-off payment of 150 million
dollars in the form of an assistance package, and to pay 15 million dollars per
year for the use of the base.
ARE OUTSIDE ACTORS INVOLVED?
Some politicians are questioning the timing and new ferocity of the anti-Ganci
The campaign to remove the American air base from Kyrgyzstan is gaining
momentum. To the outside observer, these campaigns seem to be manifestations of
growing anti-western sentiment, said Roza Otunbaeva, co-chairperson of the
Asaba party and a former foreign minister. The speed and scale of the campaign
are quite astounding it isnt often that five parliamentary committees gather
to discuss a single issue, especially a foreign policy matter.
In her view, the public discourse on the US base is marred by subjectivity and
ignorance of the central issues.
We are being biased, hasty and short-sighted, she continued, and this is a
disastrous and irreversible approach where international relations are
Analyst Valentin Bogatyrev says that the current wave of anti-American rehtoric
raises questions about whether outside actors are involved. He points out that
Russia, China and Uzbekistan oppose the US presence, and notes that the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional security grouping to which all
these states belong, will hold its next summit in Bishkek in August.
Alisher Mamasaliev, leader of Civic Platform, a non-government group, predicts
that the Bishkek meeting will be used to pressure the Kyrgyz leadership to get
the Americans out.
The upcoming SCO summit will look at the advisability of having American armed
forces stationed in Kyrgyzstan, and of removing them by the end of 2007, he
Mamasaliev believes Russia, in particular, is working behind the scenes to
change the presidents mind.
Moscow is using all its levers of influence on President Bakiev
. The Chinese,
too, may have good reason to hope that the Bishkek summit may be the beginning
of the end for western democratic expansion in Central Asia, he said.
Other commentators note that the latest round of anti-Ganci activity began
after a parliamentary delegation led by speaker Marat Sultanov returned from
talks in Moscow on May 21.
REGIONAL TROUBLES A GOOD REASON TO RETAIN US BASE
Advocates of a continued US presence say it is precisely because Kyrgyzstan is
located in a rough neighbourhood that it needs all the help it can get.
It isnt just the US that needs this air base, but the whole of Central Asia
and Russia, as there are still problematic complex processes going on in
Afghanistan, said Miroslav Niyazov, formerly Secretary of Kyrgyzstans
There need to be negotiations. If the Americans are breaching any of the terms
for their presence, then their behaviour should be reviewed and some agreement
reached. But I do not believe the existence of this base runs counter to our
interests; in general, it is in keeping with the security interests of the
entire Central Asian region.
Topchubek Turgunaliev, who leads the Erkindik party, argues that since Moscow
as well as Washington has a military foothold in Kyrgyzstan, it would be unfair
to ask one to leave and not the other.
It is completely wrong to demand only the withdrawal of the Ganci air base. If
Kyrgyzstan wants good relations with all countries, then it should demand the
withdrawal of both military bases Russian and American. You cant establish
good relations with one country at the expense of another, said Turgunaliev.
Kyrgyzstan receives payment for renting the Ganci air base, which cannot be
said of the Russian base in Kant. Why do we grant privileges to one side and
infringe the interests of the other?
SCO MEETING COULD BE WATERSHED
As the SCO summit approaches, the background noise both from grassroots
campaigners and regional governments looks likely to get louder.
President Bakiyevs May 23 announcement of a new special commission which will
look into the terms of the US-Kyrgyz agreement on Ganci gave little away about
whether its remit is contractual details or the whole future of the base. But
the fact that such a commission is deemed necessary at all in the wake of last
years substantial changes to the financial arrangements for Ganci suggest that
Bakiev is under pressure from his SCO partners to make some kind of decision
about its fate.
Jipara Abdrakhmanova is an IWPR contributor in Bishkek.
UZBEKISTAN: ANGER AT BORDER HOMES DEMOLITION
Relocated residents complain of inferior homes and loss of income.
By an IWPR contributor in Tashkent
Uzbeks who live along the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border area are angry at a scheme by the
local authorities to demolish their homes and relocate them to a new site some
Over 150 homes around the Dustlik, or Friendship, checkpoint in the Andijan
region of Uzbekistan, which borders Kyrgyzstan, are to be destroyed on the
orders of the hokimiyat, or mayors office.
The planned demolition is part of a wider anti-terrorism scheme to create a
security zone along the border, and similar relocations are planned in other
regions, including Marhamat and Madaniyat.
The Uzbek authorities are concerned about Islamic militancy, particularly in
the eastern Fergana Valley next to Kyrgyzstan, and want to monitor closely the
flow of traffic between the countries.
The site of the demolished homes will become part of the border zone with
monitoring devices to detect people trying to cross into Kyrgyzstan and a
barbed-wire fence will be erected to secure the frontier.
But residents are up in arms, saying the new accommodation they are being
provided lacks space and basic services and that resettlement will affect their
Until now, border control has been lax and traders have routinely ferried goods
through houses straddling the frontier into Kyrgyzstan, where they can command
a higher price for them.
Protests have now erupted at the enforced resettlement of the Dustlik
residents, which began in April and will end on September 1 Independence Day
Those Dustlik residents not yet forced to leave are calling for the plan to be
scrapped, or at least to be relocated to a house of equal size.
Some protesters have been invited to talks with the local authorities, and
threatened that if they dont comply with the resettlement, they will be
accused of Islamic extremism.
Those involved in cross-border trade argue that moving is affecting their
livelihoods, while others claim the replacement homes are inadequate.
An employee of the Andijan regional planning department said that every
resident whose home is demolished will receive a new house with the same number
Each square metre of the buildings to be demolished was studied, so that
identical buildings could be built in the new location, said the employee, who
wished to remain anonymous.
He added that residents also had the option of modifying their new homes if
they wished to add new features, such as an open veranda, a bathroom with a
steam room, or a larger cellar.
In other words, all the wishes of the residents are taken into account in
building the new houses, he said.
A representative of the hokimiyat told IWPR that approximately 900,000,000 soms
(714,535 US dollars) had been allocated for the building project, and added
that if people are concerned about the lack of room in their new home, they are
free to build additional rooms in the plot of land allocated to each home-owner.
But many of the residents who have already moved to their new homes say the
provisions are inadequate.
A man who wished to remain anonymous told IWPR that his new house was much
smaller than the old one.
My house had five to six rooms, and a plot of land of 800 square metres, but
the new house has only three rooms and 400 square metres of land. Where are the
other members of my family going to live? I have grown-up sons and daughters,
Another resident says her new home is inadequate and that the planners have
failed to consider centuries-old Uzbek traditions.
In Uzbekistan, the parents of the groom build a separate room in another part
of the yard, in order to give the newlyweds the chance to live separately but
near to the parents. When the couple become financially independent, they leave
the parental home, vacating the room for the younger brother.
In my old house, we did some additional building, because we had to put on
weddings for our sons, but in the new house these needs are not taken into
account at all, she said.
The resident said that the yard is so small, that its not even possible for
the family to extend the house themselves.
Weve just been put into a cage, she complained.
According to the residents, when the new houses were planned they didnt take
into account the size of the families nor the age of the children.
According to eastern tradition, teenage boys and girls cannot live in the same
room, or even in rooms which are close to each other.
Imagine what its like for parents to be in a room which is right next to
their childrens rooms, its just outrageous! said an elderly man.
But while builders understand peoples anger, they are powerless to do anything.
There is a severe lack of building materials, because the state [hokimiyat]
allotted a sum for each house which is just enough to build a one-room house
without a roof, said the head engineer of a construction company contracted to
build some of the new homes.
He said that the local authorities worked out the budget based on prices for
residential property established by the state, which are lower than real
prices, and so the construction companies make a loss from the building work.
To help the people, we use the materials we get from the demolished houses,
but not all of them are suitable for repeated use, and so we have to build
homes with a minimum amount of rooms, he said.
One builder, who gave his name as Ahmadjon, agrees that the recycled materials
The problem is that several of the houses which are to be demolished are quite
old and dilapidated. When these houses are demolished, they will not be able to
provide building materials which are suitable for use, and buying new materials
is very expensive, he said.
The material is often not suitable as many of the houses were built according
to outdated local customs, when dried clay was used instead of bricks, he said.
While its possible to reuse the clay bricks, he went on, each one has to be
dried out in the sun, and wont give stability and durability to the new house.
Residents are also worried about a lack of facilities at the new site,
including water and gas supplies, and also complain that moving away from the
border will affect their income.
My house was in such a location that half of it was in Uzbekistan and the
other half in Kyrgyzstan, which helped me earn money by letting shuttle-traders
through my house. Now I wont be able to do this, and I dont know how my
family will get by, said one local resident.
There are a lot of people who are unhappy about being moved to a new area,
because some residents who are being resettled lived well, but now they wont
be able to do this, and they are very worried, said another builder who gave
his name as Makhmujon.
The hokimiyat representative pointed out that while those who have been
relocated are complaining of loss of income from the move, some were engaged in
work that they shouldnt have been doing it in the first place.
It should be noted that not all the work which they did in their old houses
was quite legal - they helped people to smuggle goods through their houses, and
earned good money from doing so, he said, adding that the authorities were
under no obligation to find them work.
KYRGYZSTAN: KULOV CONFEDERATION PLAN SLATED
Idea of union with Russia attacked by establishment and opposition alike.
By Taalaibek Amanov in Bishkek
Kyrgyz opposition leader Felix Kulovs proposal to create a confederation
between Kyrgyzstan, Russia and other former Soviet states has provoked
widespread criticism from analysts and politicians across the political
Kulov, the former prime minister of Kyrgyzstan and leader of main opposition
group United Front for a Worthy Future, mooted the idea of a political alliance
with Russia on a television broadcast on May 30.
He then outlined the proposal in an interview in the opposition Agym newspaper
on June 1, arguing that a confederation with Russia would help unite the
countrys population - divided between the political elite in the north and the
poorer south - while boosting its flagging economy.
He is calling for a referendum to gauge support for the confederation, under
which Kyrgyzstan would retain full sovereignty, and is in the process of
collecting the 300,000 signatures necessary to hold one an initiative
launched at a supporters assembly on June 2.
If the referendum shows that the majority of Kyrgyz citizens approve of a union
with Russia, the authorities would be obliged to take the proposal to the
Moscow authorities. If the government fails to hold a referendum by June 20,
then a petition will be gathered, calling for the dissolution of the present
parliament, as well as new parliamentary and presidential elections.
While Kulov seems confident of popular support, his proposal hasnt gone down
well with either the establishment or the opposition.
Many perceive a union with the larger country as a threat to Kyrgyz sovereignty
the country has been independent since 1991, following the break-up of the
Kulovs detractors accuse him of appealing to nationalist sentiment to garner
support and revive his career which has been flagging since parliament
refused to approve his candidacy as prime minister in January.
Kulov rejects the notion that a confederation between Kyrgyzstan, Russia and
other countries of the former Soviet Union poses any threat to Kyrgyz
sovereignty, and instead sees the union as a means of strengthening law and
If we create an international formation of this kind, then bandits will not be
able to rule our country, he told IWPR.
He also sees it as an opportunity to enhance defence and boost trade across
Kyrgyzstan will be able to solve issues of defence and border security
together with other members of the confederation, to introduce common customs
regulations, use a single currency and solve other issues that are important
for Kyrgyzstan, he added.
He said that history shows uniting with Russia has strengthened Kyrgyzstan and
improved living conditions there, while allowing it to retain its own culture.
As part of Tsarist Russia, and, subsequently, as part of the USSR, the Kyrgyz
were able to preserve their unity and nationality. When Kyrgyzstan faces issues
of water supply, electricity production, threats of drug trafficking and other
problems, our country cannot get by without support from the outside, he said.
There is already much cooperation between the two countries, particularly in
the military sphere.
A Russian airbase was opened in the Kyrgyz town of Kant, 14 kilometres north of
Bishkek, in October 2003. Kyrgyz military personnel are often trained in Russia
and Moscow supplies Kyrgyz military forces with material and technical support.
Kyrgyz defence ministry official Ismail Isakov said in an interview with the
Russian newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda on May 29 that Russian-Kyrgyz cooperation is
effective, friendly and mutually beneficial.
The two countries also cooperate in economy and business, with Russia investing
in Kyrgyz agriculture, energy, aluminium, and development of uranium, and,
depending on how this is calculated, between 300,000 to 700,000 Kyrgyz
nationals work in Russia.
Kyrgyzstan is interested in Russian investment, and increasing this is a
realistic possibility, said Apas Jumagulov, the Kyrgyz ambassador to Russia.
According to government sources, there is 513 million US dollars of trade
between Kyrgyzstan and Russia a year currently, and analysts say there is
potential to double this.
But in spite of the obvious benefits closer cooperation could bring, Kulovs
proposal for a formal confederation between the countries has been slated by
Strongest censure came from leader of the Forum of Young Politicians Adil
Turdukulov who characterised it as a populist move by a politician who is
swiftly losing his popularity and authority among the people.
It is the last attempt to win over at least the Russian-speaking section of
society, the section that is nostalgic for the Soviet past. This is a reckless
idea, and it will not gain support from the majority of the population, as it
undermines sovereignty and threatens the integrity of the country, he told
Turdukulov cant see the idea working and compares it the proposed
confederation between Russia and Belarus, where talks between countries appear
to have stalled due to disagreement over the terms of the union.
This idea is risky and perilous for Kulov himself, because if the idea is a
failure, then the subsequent ideas that he comes up with will not be accepted
by society or even his supporters, said Turdukulov.
Kyrgyz analyst Valentin Bogatyrev believes that this is a foolish idea that
could even harm relations between the countries. He argues that having left
behind the yoke of Soviet rule, the Kyrgyz population wants to hang on to
The majority of Kyrgyzstan citizens, after 15 years of independence, do not
want to live under the rule of Moscow, under big brother, and they will
oppose this idea, which will worsen relations with Russia, Bogatyrev told IWPR.
Russia itself is completely uninterested in this idea, and no one there is
even discussing it.
Bogatyrev suggests Kulov made this proposal out of powerlessness, helplessness
and a lack of good political ideas.
It is an unsuccessful attempt to play to the feelings of a certain section of
the population, he said.
Analyst Alexander Knyazev agrees that Kulov is trying to revive his popularity,
which dipped after the failed opposition rallies in April this year.
Felix Kulovs rating fell after the April incidents, and at the same time
there has been a considerable increase in pro-Russian feelings, and so he is
trying to attract the interest of the electorate for whom cooperation with
Russia would be beneficial - migrants, for example, he said.
Knyazev can see no economic or political benefits for Russia in such a union.
For Russia, Kyrgyzstan is of medium importance, as it does not bring economic
benefits. Furthermore, this will create problems for Russia with western
countries, and I dont think that Kazakstan or Uzbekistan will be happy
either, said Knyazev.
Parliamentary deputy Akhmat Keldibekov said that Kulov got carried away when he
came up with his proposal.
We are a sovereign country, and we have our own attributes of a sovereign
nation. Such things must not be announced on behalf of the entire nation. I
categorically object to this, and I dont think that Russia is prepared to meet
us with open arms, said Keldibekov.
While parliamentary speaker Marat Sultanov supports stronger Kyrgyz-Russian
cooperation, he opposes the confederation, insisting that a sovereign nation
is a great asset for any people.
Sultanov argues that there is already cooperation in existence between the
countries, with citizens free to live in both.
We must be guided by our own political considerations; if a person wants to
live in the Russian state, then go ahead, the road is open, we have the
institution of dual citizenship, he said.
Even Kulovs former supporters in the opposition have attacked the idea.
Kanybek Imanaliev, an opposition deputy, supports the idea of closer
cooperation in a customs union with Russia, Kazakstan, Tajikistan and Belarus -
which may be turned into a Eurasian Union.
These countries, he said, share a common history, a common culture, and common
But he deems Kulovs idea of a confederation as impractical.
Firstly, the confederation goes against the principles of the constitution and
national interests. Secondly, we do not have common borders with Russia, he
While Temir Sariev, opposition deputy and one of the leaders at the April
protests, believes the proposed confederation is unrealistic and
ill-considered, and questions Kulovs motives.
Kulov wants to use this idea to halt the process of his departure from the
political scene, but, unfortunately, he missed his chance when he was a real
leader, he said.
Taalaibek Amanov is an IWPR contributor in Bishkek.
REPORTING CENTRAL ASIA provides the international community with a unique
insiders' perspective on the region. Using our network of local journalists,
the service publishes news and analysis from across Central Asia on a weekly
The service forms part of IWPR's Central Asia Project based in Almaty, Bishkek,
Tashkent and London, which supports media development and encourages better
local and international understanding of the region.
IWPR's Reporting Central Asia is supported by the UK Community Fund. The
service is published online in English and Russian.
The opinions expressed in Reporting Central Asia are those of the authors and
do not necessarily represent those of the publication or of IWPR.
REPORTING CENTRAL ASIA: Editor-in-Chief: Anthony Borden; Managing Editor: Yigal
Chazan; Senior Editor: John MacLeod; Central Asia Programme Manager: Saule
Mukhametrakhimova; Editor in Bishkek: Kumar Bekbolotov.
IWPR Project Development and Support: Executive Director: Anthony Borden;
Strategy & Assessment Director: Alan Davis; Managing Director: Tim Williams.
IWPR builds democracy at the frontlines of conflict and change through the
power of professional journalism. IWPR programs provide intensive hands-on
training, extensive reporting and publishing, and ambitious initiatives to
build the capacity of local media. Supporting peace-building, development and
the rule of law, IWPR gives responsible local media a voice.
Institute for War & Peace Reporting
48 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8LT, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7831 1030 Fax: +44 (0)20 7831 1050
For further details on this project and other information services and media
programmes, go to: www.iwpr.net
ISSN: 1477-7924 Copyright © 2007 The Institute for War & Peace Reporting
If you wish to change your subscription details or unsubscribe please go to: