Confrontation in Osh: a test for the government in Bishkek

The leader Roza Otunbayeva is going to Osh — the city of the south, who in June was the scene of ethnic unrest. Then 300 people were killed and about 400,000 became refugees. The roots of the conflict and the possible ways of resolving our radio commentator writes James Kirchyk.

Even today, after almost 2 months, the origins of violence remain unknown. But a lot of points to the mayor of Osh Melissa Mirzatykava as the inspirer and organizer. Designed by former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, He retained the post and after the overthrow of Bakiyev in April of this year, while maintaining control over the city and the forces of law and order, and possibly over the armed and security forces stationed in Osh. If the government intends to rebuild Osh, Otunbayeva and stabilize the situation in the country ahead of the October parliamentary elections, it must enter into a duel with someone with an iron hand controls the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan.

After the June violence, two former vice-mayors of Osh said in an interview with radio "Freedom", the mayor played an important role in them. One of the vice-mayors, Timur Kamchibek, believes that Mirzatykav was interested in destabilization and sabotage against the new government. The head of the city, said his former assistants — sick in the head.

The argument in favor of the Mirzatykav directly or indirectly, was involved in the unrest was the recent statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Piley, that the security forces who report to the mayor, torture of ethnic Uzbeks and the practice of arbitrary detention.

One of the main opponents became mayor Mirzatykav

Another point of collision can be a solution for the deployment of OSCE police mission Osh. 52 unarmed international police will watch over the maintenance of law and order in the city. Bishkek agreed to it, that crave ethnic vzbeki with a sad experience with the local police. One of the main opponents of the measure became mayor Mirzatykav. July 26 several hundred Kyrgyz rallied in the center of Osh against the arrival of OSCE police mission. Near the building of the OSCE, they burned an effigy of a police officer.

Despite the behavior of the mayor, the central authorities have been slow to take action against him. July 27 Otunbayeva at a press conference criticized Mirzatykava, but said nothing about any decisions on it. I asked her if she knew that the stripping continues in Osh, and relate exclusively to ethnic Uzbeks. I recalled the words of some of them that Kyrgyz security forces seized their young sons and demanded a ransom. "You're right, there are some new trends, we are investigated carefully in each case," — said the President Otunbayeva. When I asked directly, or she trusts Mirzatykavu, she replied: "It's a very complex issue."

Kyrgyz and vzbeki in Osh have no desire to live close

The need to solve the problem with the mayor of Osh central authorities could push another factor, another force — the international donor community. Uzbeks, with whom I spoke in Osh, the worst noted similarities peraplyanavannya city plans that provide for the demolition of old buildings, and acts of violence against the Uzbeks who lived in those houses. Mirzatykav in conversation with us, did not deny that it has ambitious plans to rebuild the city, the demolition of old buildings there and built in their place of apartment buildings, where Kyrgyz and vzbeki would live together.

This masterpiece of "social engineering" is not only virtually impossible — and vzbeki Kyrgyz in Osh have no desire to live there. But it is also in direct conflict with the plans worked out by the international donors' conference on July 27. UN has agreed to provide assistance to families displaced refugees in the recovery of the housing that they had and lost. This policy is approved by the central government, but directly contrary to the intentions of the mayor. At stake are billions of dollars of international aid, and the collision Bishkek Mirzatykavym is inevitable.

The mayor of Osh — one of those people who do not hesitate to use violence

After the revolution, April 7 Otunbayeva has repeatedly said that the new government controls the whole country and that the army and security forces, but a handful of Bakiyev supporters loyal to the new government. But it is desirable for the provision of the existing collapsed with the beginning of the ethnic riots in Osh when Otunbayeva acknowledged that the government has lost control over the south, and discussed the possibility of foreign military aid.

The first thing you have to do Otunbayeva to regain the trust of Oshawa Uzbeks — is to dismiss Mirzatykava. It will not be easy, the mayor of Osh — from those people, who did not hesitate to use force against those who stand in their way.

If dropped Bakiyev in Bishkek, Osh Mirzatykav convened a mass meeting at which the armed men demanded to keep him in office.

Roza Otunbayeva is facing serious challenges in Osh. The humanitarian crisis continues — is about 75,000 refugees and 37,500 people without shelter. Mutual distrust Kyrgyz and vzbekav can easily spawn a new wave of violence with any occasion. In Osh, Otunbayeva will also have to meet the man that many see as the root of problems — from Melissa Mirzatykavym.

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