Kyrgyzstan coup: Bakiyev inching closer to leaving the country
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, pushed from power in the Kyrgyzstan coup last week, is nearing a deal to allow him and his family to leave the country, cooling concerns of further violence in the Central Asian nation, according to media reports from the capital Bishkek.
(Page 2 of 2)
At roughly the same time, the Associated Press reported an interview with Ms. Otunbayeva that she would guarantee Bakiyev and his family's safety if he resigns and agrees to leave the country. Otunbayeva also promised that the US air base at Manas, a key hub for resupplying the US war effort in Afghanistan, would remain open after its current lease expires in July.Skip to next paragraph
2011 Reflections: Suddenly, a new era in the Middle East
2011 Reflections: the end of a landmark year for Latin America
2011 Reflections: Africa rises, taking charge of its affairs
How the 'Year of the Protester' played out in Europe
In Prague, a tale of communism past
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
She did not address the question of corruption trials for Bakiyev and some of his relatives, which have been mooted by some of the interim leaders. The US pays $60 million a year in rent for the Manas air base, but also funnels a further $170 million a year though an oil supply company for the airport controlled by Maksim Bakiyev, the president's 32-year-old son. The oil supply contracts with the US have long been a lucrative sideline for Kyrgyzstan's leaders.
Where will Bakiyev go?
To be sure, Mr. Bakiyev has not yet said he's willing to leave the country. Russia, probably the most important international player in the former Soviet republic, has said it will not take Bakiyev if asked (former President Akayev is, however, living out his exile in Russia). A Hawaiian exile in the US, like Marcos', is also unlikely, given the unsavory list of charges against his government laid out in the State Department's 2009 report on human rights in Kyrgyzstan.
"Arbitrary killing, torture, and abuse by law enforcement officials ... lack of judicial independence; pressure on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and opposition leaders, including government harassment; pressure on independent media; government detention of assembly organizers; authorities' failure to protect refugees adequately; pervasive corruption; discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, and other persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity; child abuse; trafficking in persons; and child labor," were all noted by the State Department.
But for the moment, the fears of a possible civil war or a counter uprising against the interim government, which has promised fresh elections within six months, seems unlikely. The indicators coming out of Kyrgyzstan, at least today, are that a political accommodation between the interim government and Bakiyev is likely to be reached.