News / Asia

    Donors Pledge $1.1 Billion to Kyrgyzstan

    James Brooke

    Six weeks after ethnic riots shook southern Kyrgyzstan, world donors have pledged $1.1 billion in aid to rebuild the Central Asian nation, home to a key supply base for the NATO war effort in Afghanistan.

    In a bid to support the shaky caretaker government through elections in October, donors stipulated that more than half the aid be delivered to Kyrgyzstan before the end of this year.

    Last month, a week of inter-ethnic violence destroyed homes, killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands of others.

    World Bank official Theodore Ahlers, who co-chaired the donor meeting in the capital, Bishkek, said, ''The world has come to the Kyrgyz Republic's aid in an impressive demonstration of speed and resolve."

    Kyrgyzstan's Interim President Roza Otunbayeva told the international donors that her country's 5.5 million people are suffering a jolting economic swing.   Before the rioting, Kyrgyzstan's economy was expected to grow by 5.5 percent this year.  Now experts say the economy could shrink by five percent.

    Kygyzstan is home to Manas air base, a U.S. air transit center that is vital to supplying NATO troops in Afghanistan, and many analysts say NATO is concerned that Kyrgyzstan might become a failed state.

    Eurasia analyst Anders Aslund of the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has worked as an economic advisor to Kyrgyzstan.  He says the amount of international aid the country is expected to receive is reasonable. "The risk is destabilization.  And the risk is that there is not a firm central government.  In Kyrgyzstan, that will be cooperative that things can get out of hand," he said.

    At the core of the ethnic strife in Kyrygzstan is the economic success of minority Uzbeks living in the southern part of the country.  Many Kyrygyz fear that their country's Uzbek minority enjoys the support of neighboring Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous nation with 28 million inhabitants.

    Last week, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay reported security forces in southern Kyrgyzstan are arbitrarily detaining and torturing large numbers of Uzbek residents, mostly young men.  The interim government says the June violence claimed victims from both ethnic communities and that ethnic Uzbeks have not been singled out.

    Since the June violence, more than 1,000 people have been detained in the two most affected cities - Osh and Jalalabad.

    After last month's violence, Uzbek residents told visiting reporters that Kyrgyz soldiers and armored personnel carriers were used to attack their neighborhoods.  Representatives of the interim government in Bishkek deny the allegations. 

    Last month, Russia rejected appeals by the interim government to send peacekeeping troops to southern Kyrgyzstan.  This week, 52 foreign police officers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are expected to arrive in Kyrgyzstan.

    But International Crisis Group Central Asia analyst Paul Quinn Judge says it could be a rocky reception. "There are a number of protests, not terribly spontaneous, but very noisy about the idea of them coming in.  There are very powerful political figures in the south, where they are going to be deployed, who have made it clear that they do not like the idea at all.  So even something as small and token as a police deployment in the south is viewed with a lack of enthusiasm by many within the political structures,'' he said.

    Protesters in Bishkek on Monday carried signs reading: "OSCE police - a threat from the outside."

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora