News / Asia

Donors Pledge $1.1 Billion to Kyrgyzstan

TEXT SIZE - +

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."


James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid