Turning a blind eye on Kyrgyzstan ?
Here is an interesting email I got the other day from an event manager in the European Commission.
This week, I will exceptionally leave my journalistic neutrality behind
and advocate the cause of Kyrgyzstan.
In the run-up to a key constititional referendum and parliamentary
elections, violent ethnic clashes have erupted during the last days in the
south of the Central Asian country where ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks
have been co-existing pecefully for the last 20 years. Curiously, it is also
the region where recently ousted ex-president Bakiyev still has a lot of
supporters. You do not need to be a conspiracy theorist in order to see a
The Kyrgyz interim government led by Roza Otunbaeva has sent troops to quell
the riots but could not get in control of the situation. Official pleas to
Russia for military assistance remained unheard so far. Despite the
continuing violence, thousands of refugees and the outbreak of diseases, the
EU is showing no interest in getting involved. Is this a déjà-vu of the
shameful European inactivity during the ethnic wars in Yugoslavia?
Three years ago, I met Roza Otunbaeva here in Brussels when I was still a
little stagiaire and she was member of an opposition party. She is a very
capable person without any arrogance of power (actually she helped with the
dishes after the event).
Kyrgyzstan, this small country on its way to democracy and stability, needs
the EU’s help. *If you work for an MEP or in a concerned unit of the
Commission, the Council etc., please bring the issue on the agenda and
evaluate the possibility for an EU peacekeeping mission to Kyrgyzstan!*
This highlights a very important issue- humanity still does not know how to deal with its differences, and when they provoke a conflict, we do not know how to deal with it.
We have not created the international peace forces that the UN charter provides for
We have not learned well the lessons from Bosnia and Yugoslavia from the 90s
Neither the EU, nor Russia, China, nor the US have the civilian-military power projection capability to implement real “crisis management operations” like the one South Kyrgyzstan needs right now. So what do we do ?