After his election as Kyrgyzstan’s president in October 2017, Sooronbai Jeenbekov inherited an economically uncertain state, which has failed to address more than twenty years of misrule despite emerging from two episodes of upheaval. Central Asia’s only nominal parliamentary democracy, Kyrgyzstan is divided along ethnic and regional lines, deeply corrupt and facing religious radicalisation in absence of a strong state. Crisis Group monitors ethnic and political tensions as well as wider regional relations.

CrisisWatch Kyrgyzstan

Unchanged Situation

Court extended pre-trial detention for activists protesting border delimitation agreement until April, govt agreed to host CSTO military drills and U.S. sought to deepen engagement in region.

Authorities extended pre-trial detention of imprisoned activists for second time. Court in capital Bishkek 15-17 Feb extended pre-trial detention of 26 activists and politicians, detained late Oct for protesting border delimitation agreement with Uzbekistan, until April; court first extended their pre-trial detention in Dec.

Govt repatriated 59 nationals from north-eastern Syria. Govt 16 Feb repatriated 18 women and 41 children from displaced persons camps in north-eastern Syria. U.S. 20 Feb welcomed Kyrgyz govt’s efforts to “help resolve the ongoing humanitarian and security challenges” in region, where Islamic State remains “a persistent threat”; U.S. added that repatriation remains “the only durable solution” and urged “all governments to follow Kyrgyzstan’s example and repatriate their nationals”.

In other important developments. After Armenian PM Pashinyan mid-Jan announced Armenia would not host annual military exercises for Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) military alliance, CSTO’s Chief of Staff Anatoly Sidorov 14 Feb announced Kyrgyzstan had agreed to host them instead. Meanwhile, U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 28 Feb held talks with FMs from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, amid U.S. efforts to deepen engagement in region; Blinken announced $25mn of new funding to support economic growth.

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In The News

13 Oct 2017
If mishandled, [Kyrgyzstan's] election could shatter [the country's] facade of democracy. A fragile stability is at stake. AFP
Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan

Former Project Director, Central Asia

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