April 2010 Coup in Kyrgyzstan and Its Aftermath: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests [June 15, 2010]   [open pdf - 249KB]

"Kyrgyzstan is a small and poor country in Central Asia that gained independence in 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union (see Figure A-1). It has developed a notable but fragile civil society. Progress in democratization has been set back by problematic elections (one of which helped precipitate a coup in 2005 that brought Kurmanbek Bakiyev to power), contention over constitutions, and corruption. The April 2010 coup appears to have been triggered by popular discontent over rising utility prices and government repression. After two days of popular unrest in the capital of Bishkek and other cities, opposition politicians ousted the Bakiyev administration on April 8 and declared an interim government pending a new presidential election in six months. Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, was declared the acting prime minister. A referendum on a new constitution establishing a parliamentary form of government is scheduled to be held on June 27, 2010, to be followed by parliamentary elections on October 10, 2010, and a presidential election in December 2011. On the night of June 10-11, 2010, ethnic-based violence escalated in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan, and over the next few days intensified and spread to other localities. The violence may have resulted in up to a thousand or more deaths and injuries and up to 100,000 or more displaced persons, most of them ethnic Uzbeks who have fled to neighboring Uzbekistan."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41178
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