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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid