Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Monday, May 16, 2005

Andijon, Uzbekistan: You Probably Know More Than Me.

It’s 9:45 PM Sunday night. I am typing in darkness. The electricity has gone out for the fourth time in two days. The evening “Call To Prayer” floats a few decibels above the occasional car and meowing cat and I find the Arabic invocation strangely soothing in the darkness that’s befallen this day. News sources and people on the street are reporting that as many as 500 Uzbeks were killed in Andijon over the past two days. Andijon is located 45km (30 miles) from Osh.

The three Peace Corps Volunteers in Kara-Su have been evacuated due to the influx of refugees along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. Though technically closed, military and police forces along both sides of the border have not been able to stop Uzbeks from crossing over (primarily, it is thought, to escape the violence). I have heard unconfirmed reports that men, women and children were gunned down by the troops that Karimov sent in. I can’t help but recall what has now proved to be a somewhat portentous interview with Karimov. The interview took place during the March protests and Karimov was asked if he was worried about whether the same thing would happen in Uzbekistan. Karimov said he was not worried because he would have no problem using his mighty military to quash a demonstration. It seems he also had no problem gunning down women and children as they raised their hands in a posture of unarmed supplication. The current U.S. administration considers Uzbekistan a significant partner and ally in the war on terror.

1 Comments:

  • Interesting post.

    Regarding Uzbekistan being a "significant ally" in the Bush administration's "war on terror" - does anyone know what this means? Can anyone say just how the Uzbek regime is helping to fight terrorism, and how it merits the U.S. looking the other way as they kill their own citizens? Uzbek people are dying expressing the same democratic values that U.S. troops are said to be dying for in Iraq, but in this case we're not bombing the dictator but giving him aid and comfort. Does this not puzzle anyone here in the U.S.?

    By Blogger chris, At 7:22 PM  

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