As it strives to keep a lid on inter-ethnic tension in southern Kyrgyzstan, the country’s provisional government is confronting a lose-lose proposition.
The government’s dilemma is connected with the violent clashes that have occurred over the past two weeks. When supporters of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev briefly seized government offices on May 13-14 in the southern cities of Batken, Osh and Jalal-abad, ethnic Uzbeks were prominent in helping the provisional government reestablish its authority. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].
Five days later clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Jalal-abad left at least two dead and 71 injured. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].
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Alisher Khamidov is a writer based in southern Kyrgyzstan.