April 2010 Coup in Kyrgyzstan: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests [April 12, 2010]   [open pdf - 216KB]

"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. The United States has been interested in helping Kyrgyzstan to enhance its sovereignty and territorial integrity, increase democratic participation and civil society, bolster economic reform and development, strengthen human rights, prevent weapons proliferation, and more effectively combat transnational terrorism and trafficking in persons and narcotics. The significance of Kyrgyzstan to the United States increased after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The Kyrgyz government permitted the United States to establish a military base at the Manas international airport outside Bishkek that trans-ships personnel, equipment, and supplies to support U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan. The former Bakiyev government had renegotiated a lease on the airbase in June 2009 (it was renamed a transit center), in recognition that ongoing instability in Afghanistan jeopardized regional security. The lease is up for renewal in July 2010. Otunbayeva has declared that the interim government will uphold Kyrgyzstan's existing foreign policy, including the presence of the 'transit center,' although some changes to the lease may be sought."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41178
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