Ceding the South & More

by Nathan Hamm on 3/18/2005

[See today’s earlier coverage on real and imagined US policy]

I find it exceedingly strange that if, as the government maintains, protests against the election are small and will not grow much, they have more or less ceded control of seven regional and district administration buildings. Government representatives say the situation is under control. I guess that’s technically true, the opposition seems to have things well under control in a number of locations across the country.

The latest administration building to be seized was the one in Osh.

IWPR has pictures from the Jalalabad kurultai. RIA Novosti reports that the formation of a statelet appears to be continuing in Jalalabad.

In Jalal-Abad where the administration building has been held up since March 4, they have elected “a popular governor” and formed militia supported by mounted groups. The region’s official leader has moved to the local police office.

I have seen, but not had time to apply my poor Russian reading skills, to a number of items today.

Birge! has redesigned their website.

I know PINR’s schtick is “to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international services” and that they look at issues “based upon the powers and interests involved,” but, come on… Why end it like this?

Moscow looks to have won the current hand of the game, but there will be more to come.

The only thing Moscow has definitely won is the guarantee that they’ll still have a major role to play in Kyrgyzstan no matter who comes out on top. They’ve won that by maintaining ties to both sides of the dispute even though one side is likely to be more amenable to Russian strategic interests. Since PINR uses “open source intelligence,” I have to wonder what Dr. Weinstein is reading. Everything I’ve been reading suggests the clearly definable powers and interests involved in the conflict are primarily Kyrgyz elites. There’s no point in framing it in international terms when all the “open source intelligence” indicates the conflict as best understood as a domestic one. Only the United States has made much noise. Sure, there’s stuff Dr. Weinstein gets right, and if you ignore the added analysis, it’s a decent review of others’ reporting and analysis. But the piece almost feels like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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