Civil War Looms as Kyrgyzstan Riots Grow

Normalcy Elusive for Post-Uprising Govt

It is now nearly two weeks since the Kyrgyzstan government of Kermanbek Bakiyev was ousted, a victim of growing uprisings that he tried, and failed, to put down with police violence. Late last week, after unsuccessfully trying to convince the UN to invade and reinstall him, Bakiyev fled to Kazakhstan and had reportedly resigned. Its power seemingly assured, the post-uprising government moved forward with promises of an eventual election.

But normalcy is no easy thing in Kyrgyzstan, and despite Bakiyev being long gone the protesters have remained on the streets of the capital of Bishkek, seizing property from the city’s ethnic minorities and generally spreading mayhem.

Perhaps an even bigger issue long term is that the rural southern portion of the nation, long loyal to Bakiyev, still hasn’t accepted the new government’s control. In Jalal Abat, the local governor Faizullah Rakhmanov held a rally of some 1,000 Bakiyev supporters, promising they would soon march north against the capital and restore Bakiyev to power.

Bakiyev, for his part, seems nowhere to be seen since having fled to Kazakhstan, but his role as the presumptive leader of a civil war still festering in the south seems very much beside the point for a nation where deep divisions and a history of dubious democratic rule have left many, many scars.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.