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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid