Incident in south Kyrgyzstan tells interethnic tension

Incident in south Kyrgyzstan tells interethnic tension

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 2 /Trend, V.Zhavoronkova/

The incident that took place in south Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday shows there are still bad feelings between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, U.S. expert on Central Asia Bruce Pannier believes.

"The whole affair shows there are still bad feelings between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the south," Pannier wrote in an e-mail to Trend.

A protest action involving about 700 people took place in the Kyrgyz Nookat city on Tuesday. Protesters demanded to make criminally responsible those who ordered the murder of deputy head of the regional tax service Sagynbek Alimbaev. Alimbaev was brutally murdered on Feb. 23. It is assumed that the crime has been ordered by local entrepreneur Adylzhan, a Russian citizen. According to the police of Osh region, he is hiding in the city of Fergana in Uzbekistan.
The protesters also set fire to the houses of those accused of involvement in the crime.

According to the expert, the incident in Nookat was a bad sign, despite that credit to the authorities, the situation was taken under control quickly.

This is not the first ethnic confrontation in the country, its last major outbreak occurred in June last year, when the confrontations in the south killed more than 400 people. The total destabilization of the situation in the country took place earlier in April, when riots resulted in overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

According to the expert, the demand that the organizer of this murder be brought back from Uzbekistan where he is allegedly hiding cannot be fulfilled, since the Kyrgyz authorities would not dare to enter Uzbekistan to get him.

"In addition, there is little chance the Uzbek government would apprehend and extradite him to Kyrgyzstan," Pannier said.

According to the expert, that means there will continue to be Kyrgyz who will be angry because they believe justice has not been served.

"Hopefully they will not take out their frustrations on local Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan," the expert said.

"Winter is coming to an end and there are people who are predicting that when the temperatures rise so will tensions in southern Kyrgyzstan. So again, what happened in Nookat is a bad sign," Pannier said.

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