International Implications of Violence in Kyrgyzstan

The violence and instability in Kyrgyzstan affects more than just the people of Kyrgyzstan and the surrounding area.  The situation in Kyrgyzstan has international implications, particularly for U.S. and Russian military strategy and humanitarian aid efforts.

Both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks called on Russia to step in as a third party peace-keeper.  The Collective Security Treaty Organization, an alliance made up of regional partners and dominated by Russia, met and adjourned without a commitment from Russia to send troops, but with an implication that if conditions worsened, Russia may act. 
uzbek refugees.JPGUzbek refugees lined up around an armored vehicle with Uzbek soldiers in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh.
Courtesy New York Times, Faruk Akkan/CHA, Via Associated Press
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/06/14/world/0614-Kyrgyzstan-2.html


Although Russia didn’t commit to sending any peace keeping troops into
Kyrgyzstan, Russia did send a few hundred troops to defend its military
base in Kyrgyzstan.
 
The Unites States also has a vested interest in the stability of
Kyrgyzstan.  Manas, just north of the Kyrgyzstan’s capitol, Bishkek, is
home to an American military base, which supports the NATO mission in
Afghanistan. 

For years, Russia and the United States had worked toward cooperation
with the former president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, to safeguard a military
foothold.  The current interim government has been much more
cooperative with the U.S., thus increasing the desire for the
government to remain stable.
 
Although the U.S. is reportedly not planning to send peace-keeping
troops to Kyrgyzstan, it is sending humanitarian aid to the region. 
Russia also said it planned to send humanitarian aid, and currently
medical supplies, blankets and tarps are being delivered by the
International Committee of the Red Cross to the south of Kyrgyzstan and
along the border with Uzbekistan.
 
New York Times reports that about 80,000 ethnic Uzbeks
have fled violence in Kyrgyzstan and sought refuge in Uzbekistan. 
Because refugees arrived in June, when there is no school in
Uzbekistan, schools were used to shelter Kyrgyzstani refugees. 
International aid groups report that the Uzbek government will be
financially and logistically stretched as the violence in Kyrgyzstan
continues.

Michelle Renn 

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