Tulip Revolution Redux
"April 7 became yet another day of momentous change in Kyrgyzstan. More than 70 people died during clashes with police, and roughly 1,000 were injured in anti-government protests across the country (www.diesel.elcat.kg, April 8). The scope of causalities is unprecedented in Kyrgyzstan. Spontaneous protests erupted across the country demanding the resignation of President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who has become infamous for his corruption and authoritarianism. Opposition leaders, in turn, declared that they have formed a provisional government after seizing the government headquarters.
Bakiyev sought refuge in the southern town of Osh, after anti-government crowds flooded onto the streets in Bishkek. Through state-controlled mass media, the politician tried to spread the message that he was in full control of the government (www.akipress.kg, www.24.kg, April 7)...
"It is crucial to examine the balance of military power between the opposition and Bakiyev supporters in order to assess the possibility of repeated violent clashes and a possible eruption of civil war in the country. Bakiyev has shown that he is not intending to leave his post without trying to suppress the opposition and the crowds by force. The country’s armed forces were structured in a way to protect the regime from possible challenges."