Provisional President Roza Otunbayeva has authorized the creation of a special oversight body that will monitor how Pentagon payments for the use of the Manas Transit Center are handled.
The decree, issued September 13 and titled On the Council to Ensure the Transparency of Financial Activity at the Transit Center, specifies that the oversight body’s chief objectives are the “implementation of public control over revenues, transparency, and the efficient use of funding.”
The 13-member council will prepare and publish an annual report, and hold public hearings on oversight-related issues. It will also monitor the receipt of taxes from companies with commercial contracts at the base.
The Manas Transit Center serves as a key logistical hub for US and NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan. The United States currently pays $60 million per year directly to the Kyrgyz government in rent for use of the facility.
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.