Kyrgyzstan drops foreign troops demand

OSH, Kyrgyzstan – From wire dispatches
Kyrgyz interim government leader Rosa Otunbayeva speaks to the media in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Tuesday. AP photo
Kyrgyz interim government leader Rosa Otunbayeva speaks to the media in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Tuesday. AP photo

Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday withdrew a demand for foreign peacekeepers to calm deadly ethnic unrest in the country’s south as some reports suggested that the rioting was deliberately provoked.

The southern part of the impoverished Central Asian nation has been convulsed by days by rioting targeting minority Uzbeks, leaving the country’s second-largest city, Osh, in smoldering ruins and prompting tens of thousands of Uzbeks to flee for their lives to neighboring Uzbekistan, sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Interim President Roza Otunbayeva insisted again Tuesday that supporters of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev stoked the conflict, according to a report by the Associated Press. “Many instigators have been detained and they are giving evidence on Bakiyev’s involvement in the events. No one has doubts that he is involved,” she said.

From self-imposed exile in Belarus, Bakiyev denied any ties to the violence Monday.

An Uzbek community leader in Osh also accused Bakiyev’s family of fomenting the ethnic violence that has killed more than a hundred and created thousands of refugees.

“This was a planned action against Uzbeks,” Dzhalaldin Salakhitdinov, president of the Uzbek cultural center in Osh, told Bloomberg by telephone. “We supported the interim government but the old officials who used to enjoy life and who lost power didn’t want any stability. They wanted the interim government to lose its authority so they created provocation against Uzbeks.”

Rupert Collie, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva there was evidence the violence was coordinated and began with five simultaneous attacks in Osh by men wearing balaclavas, a type of ski mask. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the fighting “appears to be orchestrated, targeted and well-planned” and urged authorities to act before it spread further.

No need for foreign troops

Otunbayeva said foreign forces were no longer needed as the unrest between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz around the cities of Jalalabad and Osh was abating after five days of bitter clashes.

Uzbekistan accepted tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbek refugees who crossed the border but has now shut the frontier, leaving thousands waiting to cross in desperate conditions, Agence France-Presse correspondents reported.

“There is not a need to send peacekeeping forces,” Otunbayeva told a news conference. “We hope to deal with this situation with our own forces,” she added, saying the clashes were now “on the wane.”

Otunbayeva had appealed to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last weekend to send military forces, saying the situation in the south of the country was out of control. Russia turned down the Kyrgyz plea for troops, saying the violence is an internal issue.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday said the death toll from the clashes had reached 171, with nearly 1,800 injured. Observers believe the real figures to be much higher, with communities burying bodies before the deaths had been registered. In addition, many Uzbek refugees arriving in Uzbekistan had gunshot wounds.

The situation at the border crossing with Uzbekistan remained dire, with thousands waiting in the hope of being let over the barbed-wire border. But the Uzbek side was only allowing the occasional wounded person through.

—–

Compiled from AFP, AP and Bloomberg stories by the Daily News staff.

Kyrgyzstan’s playboy ‘prince’ accused of financing unrest

BISHKEK – Agence France-Presse
Kyrgyzstan's playboy 'prince' accused of financing unrest

Authorities have accused the son of Kyrgyzstan’s ousted president, nicknamed “the prince” and known for his playboy lifestyle, of being a prime instigator of ethnic violence gripping the country.

Maxim Bakiyev, 32, known for his penchant for luxury, is the son of the country’s former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was toppled in violent street protests in April and subsequently fled the country.

“The ‘wallet’ of these riots is the son of the former president, Maxim Bakiyev, who started financing the riots back in April,” first Deputy Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev said at a news conference.

Atambayev said that the inter-ethnic riots were paid for with $10 million from Bakiyev’s pocket.

Maxim Bakiyev was arrested Monday in Britain after being listed as wanted by Interpol, Kyrgyz officials said. He landed at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire with a private plane in an apparent bid to apply for asylum.

The announcement of Bakiyev’s arrest was made on national television by the chairman of the Kyrgyz State Agency for National Security, Kenishbek Duishebayev, the U.S.-sponsored website Central Asia Online reported.

The Kyrgyz authorities said they would fight for Maxim Bakiyev’s extradition. His family has denied any involvement with the latest unrest.

“We have facts and proof that he is guilty of crimes, which I hope will help us bring him to trial and we will of course ask Britain to extradite Maxim Bakiyev,” interim leader Roza Otunbayeva said at a news conference Tuesday.

‘A taste for luxury’

Maxim Bakiyev occupied top posts under his father and was nicknamed the “Prince” by opposition activists.

After studying law, he was appointed to head the Kyrgyz Central Agency for Development, Investment, and Innovations, a post that gave him control of state assets and loans.

Maxim Bakiyev “practically took into his hands the management of executive power,” Otunbayeva told the Echo of Moscow radio station in February.

Members of his entourage told the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda that he had a taste for luxury, playing with a deck of gold playing cards and wearing expensive Swiss watches.

Maxim Bakiyev was popular with women and dated a series of girlfriends, including models, before marrying the daughter of Bishkek’s former mayor, the tabloid reported in April.

He is reportedly a shareholder of Britain’s Blackpool football club – and was even photographed on the stands with the club’s president, Latvian businessman Valery Belokon.

In another sporting venture, in 2007 he was appointed head of Kyrgzystan’s wrestling federation.

As the street protests that ousted his father broke out, Maxim Bakiyev was due to be the key speaker at a conference on investing in Kyrgyzstan in Washington DC, organized along with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In April prosecutors launched criminal charges against Maxim Bakiyev, accusing him of abuse of power and embezzling state loans.

He was charged with transferring at least $35 million dollars of a $300 million state loan from Russia to a number of bank accounts.

In May Interpol posted Maxim Bakiyev as wanted on its website.

Maxim Bakiyev is also being investigated by the interim Kyrgyz government for possible corrupt business practices related to fuel supply contracts he handled for the U.S. airbase at Manas, a key site for military operations in Afghanistan.

An audio recording was circulated in May on the Internet in which Maxim Bakiyev and his brother Janysh were apparently heard plotting a smear campaign and counter-coup against the new Kyrgyz authorities.

He and his family fled the volatile Central Asian country and he was given refuge by Belarus, but Maxim Bakiyev’s whereabouts remained unknown, although Russian newspapers reported that he was sighted in Latvia.

The Tail or the Dog? Debate on US-Zionist Alliance on KB Show Tuesday!

The Tail or the Dog? Debate on US-Zionist Alliance on KB Show Tuesday!


Tuesday, June 15th, 9-10 a.m. Pacific (noon-1 pm Eastern) on http://NoLiesRadio.org, to be archived here a few hours later…

Philosophy professor and 9/11 truth supporter Richard Curtis debates anti-Zionist activist Jeff Blankfort on just who’s wagging whom here. Does the Israel lobby dominate US Mideast policy, as Jeff Blankfort has argued? Or is Israel just an expendable forward base for US empire, as Richard Curtis suggests?

Note: Richard Curtis’s new book, to which I contributed, will be in print very soon, and may be ordered now.

[Also note: I will be discussing this topic in a symposium with Gilad Atzmon and Jim Fetzer of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, in London, UK, on July 14th, 6-9:30 PM, Friends House, Euston Road opposite Euston Station. Please spread the word! More details at Rediscover911. ]



Kevin Barrett
Author, Questioning the War on Terror: A Primer for Obama Voters: http://www.questioningthewaronterror.com

Kyrgyz stations shut down, only state TV broadcasting

Kyrgyz stations shut down, only state TV broadcasting

Kyrgyz Interior Ministry forces conduct house-to-house searches in the city of Osh, southern Kyrgyzstan, today. (AP)

Kyrgyz Interior Ministry forces conduct house-to-house searches in the city of Osh, southern Kyrgyzstan, today. (AP)

New York, June 14, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by reports that local television stations in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh were ordered to cease transmission on Friday by the city government in the wake of interethnic violence in the region. Osh residents now have access only to the state television channel, KTR, and several Russian television channels, the independent news agency Zpress reported.

“We call on the Kyrgyz government to allow all television stations to resume broadcasting immediately,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “It is critical that the government does not censor independent journalists during this breaking story in the south of Kyrgyzstan.”

According to local press reports, on Friday, the independent Osh television channels Osh TV and Mezon TV, and the recently nationalized, Russian-language channel Piramida, stopped broadcasting on the orders of the Osh city government, which did not publicly explain why it was shutting down the stations. Since the order to stop broadcasting, Mezon TV and Osh TV have both been vandalized, the independent regional news Web site Ferghana reported. The news Web site Vesti reported on Saturday that the regional television station in Jalal-Abad was in flames.

Kyrgyz official estimates put the death toll from ethnic clashes in Osh and Jalal-Abad, which have been raging since Friday, at 125. But according to the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), the count stands much higher; The New York Timesreported today that an ICRC spokesperson put the estimate at more than 700.

International news reports say tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks have fled the two cities and crossed the border into Uzbekistan to escape the violence. What prompted the clashes remains unclear, but armed criminal gangs of men in their 20s have been attacking ethnic Uzbek neighborhoods in both cities, setting houses and stores on fire and shooting people trying to flee. The Kyrgyzstan interim government led by Roza Otunbayeva declared a curfew on Saturday, deployed troops to the region, and gave “shoot-to-kill” powers to security forces in the south, according to news reports.

In a separate incident, Uzbek police in the city of Andijan are holding a prominent independent journalist for a second day. The reporter, Aleksei Volosevich, who is based in the capital, Tashkent, had travelled to the border with Kyrgyzstan to report on the humanitarian crisis resulting from ongoing clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in the Fergana Valley cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad. Volosevich, who was reporting for Ferghana, was detained when he tried to get to the Yor-Kishlok village in Uzbekistan, where Uzbek refugees from the clashes have been arriving from Kyrgyzstan. At around 7 p.m. yesterday, Volosevich was photographing buses transporting the refugees,Ferghana reported, and did not have his personal documents on him—they were in a bag he had temporarily handed to a colleague at the time of the arrest. His mobile phone is turned off, and CPJ was unable to make contact with him. Volosevich is currently being held at the Andijan regional police department, Ferghana said.

“We call on Andijan police to immediately release our colleague Aleksei Volosevich and stop obstructing him and other reporters from doing their job,” Ognianova said.

Ethnic Uzbeks comprise one-fifth of the population of Kyrgyzstan—the biggest minority in the country; most live in the south. Since the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April, tensions have grown between ethnic Uzbeks, who largely support the interim government, and ethnic Kyrgyz, who largely back Bakiyev in the south. Over the weekend, Otunbayeva blamed the exiled Bakiyev for instigating the clashes from abroad to destabilize the country ahead of a referendum scheduled for June 27 to adopt a new constitution. Bakiyev categorically denied the claims from his temporary home in Minsk,Belarus, according to international news reports.

June 14, 2010 6:15 PM ET | Permalink

EU chief warns ‘democracy could disappear’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal

Nightmare vision for Europe as EU chief warns ‘democracy could disappear’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal

By JASON GROVES

Democracy could ‘collapse’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal unless urgent action is taken to tackle the debt crisis, the head of the European Commission has warned.

In an extraordinary briefing to trade union chiefs last week, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso set out an ‘apocalyptic’ vision in which crisis-hit countries in southern Europe could fall victim to military coups or popular uprisings as interest rates soar and public services collapse because their governments run out of money.

The stark warning came as it emerged that EU chiefs have begun work on an emergency bailout package for Spain which is likely to run into hundreds of billions of pounds.

Crisis point: Demonstrators protest cuts announced by the Government in Malaga last week in an echo of the Greek crisisCrisis point: Demonstrators protest cuts announced by the Government in Malaga last week in an echo of the Greek crisis

A £650 billion bailout for Greece has already been agreed.

John Monks, former head of the TUC, said he had been ‘shocked’ by the severity of the warning from Mr Barroso, who is a former prime minister of Portugal.

Mr Monks, now head of the European TUC, said: ‘I had a discussion with Barroso last Friday about what can be done for Greece, Spain, Portugal and the rest and his message was blunt: “Look, if they do not carry out these austerity packages, these countries could virtually disappear in the way that we know them as democracies. They’ve got no choice, this is it.”

‘He’s very, very worried. He shocked us with an apocalyptic vision of democracies in Europe collapsing because of the state of indebtedness.’

Greece, Spain and Portugal, which only became democracies in the 1970s, are all facing dire problems with their public finances. All three countries have a history of military coups.

Greece has been rocked by a series of national strikes and riots this year following the announcement of swingeing cuts to public spending designed to curb Britain’s deficit.

Spain and Portugal have also announced austerity measures in recent weeks amid growing signs that the international markets are increasingly worried they could default on their debts.

General Francisco Franco
Georgios Papadopoulos
Ant¢nio-de-Oliveira-Salazar

Dictatorships: An end to democracy in Europe could see a return of figures ruling dictatorships. General Franco was dictator of Spain until 1975; Georgios Papadopoulos led a military junta until 1973; and Antonio de Oliveira Salazar ruled as Portugese president until 1968

Other EU countries seeing public protests over austerity plans include Hungary, Italy and Romania, where public sector pay is to be slashed by 25 per cent.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who visited Madrid last week, said the situation in Spain should serve as a warning to Britain of the perils of failing to tackle the deficit quickly.

He said the collapse of confidence in Spain had seen interest rates soar, adding: ‘As the nation with the highest deficit in Europe in 2010, we simply cannot afford to let that happen to us too.’

Mr Barroso’s warning lays bare the concern at the highest level in Brussels that the economic crisis could lead to the collapse of not only the beleaguered euro, but the EU itself, along with a string of fragile democracies.

DICTATORSHIPS

GREECE: Georgios Papadopoulos was dictator from 1967 to 1974.
The Colonel led the military coup d’etat in 1967 against King Constantine II amid political instability. He was leader of the junta which ruled until 1974.
Papadopoulos was overthrown by Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis in 1973. Democracy was restored in 1975.

SPAIN: General Francisco Franco led Spain from 1936 until his death in 1975. At the end of the Spanish Civil War he dissolved the Spanish Parliament and established a right-wing authoritarian regime that lasted until 1978. After his death Spain gradually began its transition to democracy.

PORTUGAL: Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’sregime and its secret police ruled the country from 1932 to 1968. He founded and led the Estado Novo, the authoriatan, right-wing government that controlled Portugal from 1932 to 1974. After Salazar’s death in 1970, his regime persisted until it eventually fell after the Carnation Revolution.

But it risks infuriating governments in southern Europe which are already struggling to contain public anger as they drive through tax rises and spending cuts in a bid to avoid disaster.

Mr Monks yesterday warned that the new austerity measures themselves could take the continent ‘back to the 1930s’.

In an interview with the Brussels-based magazine EU Observer he said: ‘This is extremely dangerous.

‘This is 1931, we’re heading back to the 1930s, with the Great Depression and we ended up with militarist dictatorship.

‘I’m not saying we’re there yet, but it’s potentially very serious, not just economically, but politically as well.’

Mr Monks said union barons across Europe were planning a co-ordinated ‘day of action’ against the cuts on 29 September, involving national strikes and protests.

David Cameron will travel to Brussels on Thursday for his first summit of EU leaders since the election.

Leaders are expected to thrash out a rescue package for Spain’s teetering economy. Spain is expected to ask for an initial guarantee of at least £100 billion, although this figure could rise sharply if the crisis deepens.

News of the behind-the-scenes scramble in Brussels spells bad news for the British economy as many of our major banks have loaned Spain vast sums of money in recent years.

Germany’s authoritative Frankfurter Allgemeine Newspaper reported that Spain is poised to ask for multi-billion pound credits.

Mr Barroso and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank are united on the need for a rescue plan.

The looming bankruptcy of Spain, one of the foremost economies in Europe, poses far more of a threat to European unity and the euro project than Greece.

Greece contributes 2.5 percent of GDP to Europe, Spain nearly 12 percent.

Yesterday’s report quoted German government sources saying: ‘We will lead discussions this week in Brussels concerning the crisis. It has intensified to the point that the states do not want to wait until the EU summit on Thursday in Brussels.”’

At the end of last month the credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Spain, triggering sharp falls on stock markets.

On Friday the administration in Madrid continued to insist no rescue package was necessary.  But Greece said the same thing before it came close to disaster.

Yesterday the European Commission and the statistics authority Eurostat met to consider Spain‘s plight as many EU countries consider the austerity package proposed by the Madrid administration insufficient to deal with the country‘s problems


Taliban–the Enemy We Are Allegedly “Forced” To Fight, But Cannot Find

Four Months In, Special Forces Team ‘Can’t Find the Taliban’

Four months into their tour in southern Afghanistan, a Special Forces A-team still has no idea who they’re fighting.

“I don’t know where to pinpoint them [or] how to pinpoint them,” the team’s intelligence sergeant tells Army Times ace Sean Naylor. “They’re not wearing awesome T-shirts that say, ‘I’m Taliban.’ ”

“I can’t find them,” he continues. “This is our biggest failure.”

As Naylor points out in his story (not yet online, alas), the team has been able to help stitch together a stronger local government. Some counterinsurgents might say that’s way more important than focusing on the enemy. Major General Mike Flynn, the top U.S. intelligence officer in Afghanistan, blasted his colleagues and subordinates earlier this year for focusing too much on whacking Taliban, and not enough on learning the cultural, social, and economic lay of the land.

But ignorance about the other side — I’m pretty sure Flynn didn’t have that in mind, either.

Photo: DoD


RIA Novosti Reports–Russia will not send peacekeepers to troubled Kyrgyzstan

[This means that Russia, as well as the US, wants the situation there to deteriorate further, until “International” intervention (mostly American) becomes acceptable to the Kyrgyz govt.  Russia and the United States are on the same page.  The only hope for the Kyrgyz people is the people themselves.  Kyrgyzstan must produce its own “JOHN CONNOR.”]

Russia will not send peacekeepers to troubled Kyrgyzstan

Russia will not send peacekeepers to troubled Kyrgyzstan
Russia will not send peacekeepers to troubled Kyrgyzstan
Russia will not send peacekeepers to troubled Kyrgyzstan
Russia will not send peacekeepers to troubled Kyrgyzstan
16:56 15/06/2010
© RIA Novosti. Andrei Stenin

Russia will not send peacekeeping forces to Kyrgyzstan, which has been hit by deadly inter-ethnic clashes in recent days, Russia’s envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Tuesday.

“Such a step would be unjustified as we are taking here about an internal conflict,” Anvar Azimov said.

At least 170 people have been killed in the south of the Central Asian republic in five days of ethnic violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups.

Tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks, who make up about half the population in the area, have fled to neighboring Uzbekistan.

Azimov said extra troops had already been sent to Kyrgyzstan to ensure the safety Russian servicemen and their families at the Kant military base, some 20 km from the capital Bishkek.

Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader, Roza Otunbayeva, asked Russia last week to send peacekeepers to halt the violence, saying the situation was “out of control.”

The post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) decided at an emergency meeting in Moscow on Monday not to send troops but to provide logistical aid.

The interim government has imposed a state of emergency in Osh and Jalal-Abad and allowed police and the troops to shoot to kill in order to quash the riots and stop marauders.

The authorities also issued a decree allowing the Defense Ministry to call up reservists aged under 50 to normalize the situation as quickly as possible and restore law and order.

VIENNA, June 15 (RIA Novosti)