April 09, 2010
Crisis in Kyrgyzstan
BY Japhet Weeks
Just five years after a violent revolution shook Kyrgyzstan, this former Soviet Republic woke up to more upheaval on Wednesday morning, when violent protests rocked the country's capital Bishkek. Dozens were killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with riot police.
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled to the country's south. People began to worry that a civil war might break out between Bakiyev's supporters there and opposition party members in the north. But just three days after the initial violence, the country's opposition leaders seem to have gotten the situation under control. Former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva is now serving as Kyrgyzstan's interim head of government and there are reports that Bakiyev will be allowed to go into exile.
Frontline/World obtained video footage from media companies operating in Bishkek. We then asked local observers -- two journalists and the director of the Central Asian Free Market Institute -- to talk to us over webcam about their experiences and thoughts following Wednesday's violence.
Additional reporting: Alexandra Poolos