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Full Access One year after the June 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan: the possible implications for regional security

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One year after the June 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan: the possible implications for regional security

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This article includes some ideas on the crisis that took place in Osh, Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. Apart from a brief summary of the events, it describes viewpoints of the main 'actors' including the international organizations; it also seeks an answer to the question on what the reasons leading up to these tragic events were. Regarding possible sources of conflicts, including the factor of ethnic minorities, the question arises whether the various international mechanisms created for handling regional conflicts function properly, in a conducive way, and whether they can warn the international community of an evolving crisis and prevent conflicts. According to the facts, in the concrete case of the Osh crisis, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities succeeded in fulfilling his task in the area of early warning; however, no concrete actions were taken by the above-mentioned 'actors' in regional and international politics to prevent the conflict. This paper has no intention of dwelling on this issue as it was very adequately addressed by an earlier article written by Sabine Machl.

The ethnic conflicts of 1990 and 2010 in Central Asia demonstrate the vulnerability of the region, which also faces some additional challenges in the field of security.

This article does not intend to examine all the aspects of the Kyrgyz crisis.

However, as some experts at the time of the Osh events explicitly mentioned, the possibility of the infiltration of militants from Afghanistan and their involvement in the clashes and as Afghanistan itself is a country, where about half of the population belong to various ethnic 'minority' groups (Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, Turkmens, etc.), one cannot ignore the danger of the implication of the conflict going on in Afghanistan for its vicinity, including Central Asia. The awareness of this challenge was reflected in various ideas and suggestions (to address the Afghan crisis) emanating from these countries. The most comprehensive of these — according to the views of the author of this article — is the so called '6+3' initiative developed by Uzbekistan.

One of the 'messages' of this article should be that, at the present, stronger and more consistent as well as concerted efforts are needed to deal with evolving conflicts and crises in the broader region of Central and West Asia, where these potential conflicts may develop not only by themselves, in separate countries or 'sub-regions', but they could include the danger of a 'spillover' which may also effect other countries.


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