News / Asia

    Kyrgyzstan Seeks, But is Denied Outside Military Help

    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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    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 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 Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    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.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora