situation report

Aug 8, 2019 | 17:14 GMT

2 mins read

Kyrgyzstan: Arrest of Former President Prompts Violent Clashes Near Bishkek

What Happened: Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev was detained by the government on Aug. 8, leading to clashes between security forces and his supporters in the village of Koi-Tash that left one dead and dozens injured, The Times of Central Asia has reported. Atambayev and his supporters had reportedly planned to hold a rally in front of a government building in the capital of Bishkek, but they were forced back to his compound by security forces. A crowd of Atambayev supporters has since begun to assemble in the Ala-Too Square in central Bishkek.

Why It Matters: While the blowback from Atambayev's detention appears to be contained, there is still a possibility for protests and violent clashes to return and grow in the coming days. It will, therefore, be important to watch Bishkek and other regional cities such as Osh and Jalalabad for any large demonstrations or violence against security forces.

Background: Kyrgyzstan is no stranger to political unrest, experiencing revolutions in 2005 and 2010, which both saw the forceful overthrow of the country's government. Over the past year, tensions have been growing between current President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Atambayev, with the former accusing the latter of corruption and trying to influence the government from behind the scenes. 

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