Political unrest continues to buffet Kyrgyzstan, as protestors on June 5 again blocked the main Bishkek-Osh highway. Some local analysts say the recent tension is rooted in rivalries between the country's clans, in reality vast patronage networks that are related to ethnic and geographic factors. Various clans, especially those with their power bases in southern Kyrgyzstan, have grown increasingly discontent with the reluctance of President Askar Akayev's clan to share the perquisites of power.
Since the start of 2002, the Akayev's administration has faced mounting criticism over its policies. Akayev opponents have seized on popular opposition to the government's plan to transfer territory to China to attempt to weaken the president's political position. [For additional information see the EurasiaNet culture archive].
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Alisher Khamidov is currently a Muskie Fellow graduate student at the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace Studies at Notre Dame University.