News / Asia

Kyrgyzstan Seeks, But is Denied Outside Military Help

TEXT SIZE - +

As Kyrgyzstan struggles to contain an outburst of ethnic blood-letting, the government is beginning to accept the harsh reality that outside military assistance is not on the way.

Last week, President Roza Otunbayeva requested Russian military intervention soon after the violence in Osh erupted. On Tuesday, she acknowledged neither Russia nor the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization would send troops.  

But she made the case for martial law. The embattled president said martial law is not just a mere pronouncement that is meant to frighten. Martial law, she said, requires constant patrols, a physical presence, a certain number of soldiers, as well as military and physical force to inspect people.

Russia has sent humanitarian aid, but not troops.  President Dmitri Medvedev on Tuesday set a high threshold for military intervention. Mr. Medvedev says if the situation gets worse, he does not preclude calling another Collective Security Treaty Organization meeting of national security chiefs, and even a special summit meeting of the organization's heads of state.

In other words, Russia will do a lot of talking before it commits troops to Kyrgyzstan.

Alexander Konovalov, an independent Russian military analyst said Moscow is avoiding intervention.  Getting in, said Konovalov, would be a lot easier than getting out.  For example, an outside force would get blamed for supporting one side or the other, and withdrawing it would be difficult. Once it  starts, it needs to create a semblance of stability.

Konovalov notes the classical understanding of peacekeeping means separating conflicting sides and creating a barrier between them, something that is not possible where people of warring ethnic groups live side by side.

Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the country's interim leaders hoped it would also send troops to quell the violence.  But the mandate of the Moscow-led security alliance is to fight foreign invasion, not domestic unrest.  

Analysts note CSTO members have no common policies.  Armenia, for example, has no interests in Central Asia and Belarus supported ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.  

Military analyst Alexander Golts says events in Kyrgyzstan revealed CSTO to be an empty organization.  According to Golts, it was clear from the start that the Collective Security Treaty Organization was meant to support Russian imperial illusions; to show Russia has a military bloc of its own just like the United States.  In practice, he said, the organization in practice cannot withstand reality. CSTO countries simply are not prepared to defend one another, said Golts.

Member countries have rival claims, particularly those in Central Asia, he said, pointing out another problem: members also do not have the resources to ensure each other's security.

The borders of Central Asian countries often run between ethnic groups, which creates animosities over jobs and access to power. Uneven distribution of water and oil resources are also points of friction.

Analyst Konovalov notes that Kyrgyzstan has presented Moscow with a very difficult choice: either getting bogged down through intervention, or suffer the consequences of chaos on that country.

Konovalov said if things develop in Kyrgyzstan as they have in recent days, the country's already poor economy will continue to collapse.  Kyrgyzstan, like Afghanistan, will expand its role in illegal drug trafficking, adding that the traffic goes, first of all, through Russia.  Konovalov also warned that drug trafficking could be accompanied by radical Islamic ideas.

The United States has an air base near the capital city of Bishkek in northern Kyrgyzstan to supply the NATO military effort in Afghanistan.  

The United States is also discussing the Kyrgyz situation with Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  America has provided the Kyrgyz government with about $1 million in emergency medical supplies from an embassy contingency fund.  Russia and other countries have also been sending humanitarian assistance to Kyrgyzstan.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid