01 March 2012
Former presidential candidates and leaders of 2 nationalist political parties Ata-Jurt and Butun Kyrgyzstan early Feb announced merger to form opposition bloc; with both parties drawing majority of support in south, move raises fears of further regional fragmentation in country. President Atambayev 16 Feb visited Osh, pledged to finalize investigation into June 2010 ethnic violence, fight corruption, enforce teaching of Kyrgyz language in schools. Security forces 10 Feb captured member of Zhayshul Mahdi terrorist group in Bishkek. President Atambaev 23 Feb undertook 3-day visit to Russia, called for closure of Russian Kant airbase over unpaid fees. Continued protests over frequent power outages.