Fears of Kyrgyz Civil War Linger Despite Conditional Resignation Offer

Medvedev Warns Kyrgyzstan on the Brink of Breaking Apart

Since last week’s ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the status of Kyrgyzstan has been a matter of considerable speculation, and the danger that Bakiyev’s continued support in the rural south could lead to a civil war seems as plausible as ever.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today warned that the risk of Kyrgyzstan breaking apart along the north and south line “really exists,” adding that the nation remains on the brink of civil war.

But this seems to depend greatly upon exactly what Bakiyev’s plans are, and he seems to be changing his mind on a fairly regular basis. When the Kyrgyz interim government offered Bakiyev safe passage out of the country last weekend he scoffed, and as recently as yesterday he was warning that “there will be blood.”

Bakiyev’s threats, not to mention his attempt to secure a UN invasion to oust the interim government, led to many calls for the government to arrest him outright, and the warning that the government could not guarantee his security.

Today Bakiyev seems to have completely reversed his position, and now says he will agree to go into retirement in return for a guarantee of security. Bakiyev is in his home town of Jalal-Abat.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.