Monday, May 16, 2005

Korasuv


BBC carrying the news, Sunday, that residents of Korasuv took control of their town from the Uzbek government. 'They then set to work to rebuild two bridges over the border river, reuniting the Uzbek and Kyrgyz sides of the town. The bridges were ripped up more than two years ago in what the government said was a crackdown on cross-border trade. But correspondents say locals saw the move as an attempt to grind them down by denying them access to the thriving market on the other side.' Uzbek troops seal off second town

Quote from an Andijan resident: 'I want to tell the world, Karimov's people fired on women and children' (BBC radio).

The BBC website has comments from many in Uzbekistan: 'If Western powers don't get involved a horrible tragedy will happen. The current leadership wouldn't hesitate to spill the blood of thousands to remain in power. Here is the chance to bring the democracy to my country. Please do not demonise the protesters as Islamic radicals. The majority of them are ordinary people who strive for survival and want happiness.
Anonymous, ... (originally Marghilon, Farghona province)'

Comments on Harry's Place (Monitoring Bush: the Uzbekistan test) Gene: 'It's hard to tell exactly what's going on in Uzbekistan...', In Andijan, 23 businessmen of a moderate Islamist persuasion were arrested and put on trial by the Karimov regime, who accused them of being 'extremist'. Analysis: Uzbekistan's 'Islamists'. Many of the employees of these men, who lost their jobs as a result, joined the protests. It's not that difficult is it?

Nevertheless, some good stuff in the comments (of the HP post): 'The EU has no influence in Uzbekistan, Karimov has no intention of quitting, the Russians are right behind him, and the US response has been mealy-mouthed. If President Bush wants to live up to his inaugural address he need not make any public declarations, but he must get on the phone to Karimov and make it clear that: a. there must be no more deaths, and  b. he must open up to civil society or else face an Islamicist opposition which has garnered popular support for want of another focus.' (Martin Morgan)

'Get all your coverage on Uzbekistan here. In addition, this chap has been working tirelessly to translate the Russian language reports coming from the region - which seem to differ from the English langage reports.' (Tim Newman).

As for the lies of the Uzbek government, I will restrict myself to the 'negotiations' with the protesters that almost certainly did not take place in Andijan, Friday.

Jack Straw, for the UK, is taking a slightly more 'pro-liberation' position than the US.

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