Thursday, October 04, 2012

Violence in Bishkek

The news has reported that a mob of about 1000 people organized by Ata Zhurt attempted to storm the gates of the White House in Bishkek yesterday in an imitation of the overthrow of the Bakiev regime in 2010. The police used teargas to repel the attack. The attempt to seize the White House failed and the police have arrested three members of Parliament involved in organizing the assault. Ata Zhurt is an extreme nationalist party that is demanding that the Kumtor gold mine which is currently run by the Canadian company Centerra be completely nationalized. Even though such a move would probably significantly reduce what little foreign investment Kyrgyzstan currently receives. Centerra stock has already dropped by 30% this year in part due to events in Kyrgyzstan. At present the Kyrgyz government owns 33% of the mine. The mine accounts for a full 12% of Kyrgyzstan's economy. I hope all my remaining friends and former students in Bishkek stay safe. Things appear to be calm and stable in the rest of the country. Although there is speculation that future demonstrations could take place in southern regions of the country. There are no reported or forecast problems for Talas Oblast, may the region continue to be peaceful Insha'Allah.

Source: Reuters

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