Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Kyrgyz Opposition Demands US Base Closure

From Yahoo News/AP:
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – Opposition leaders declared they had seized power in Kyrgyzstan, taking control of security headquarters, a state TV channel and other government buildings after clashes between police and protesters killed dozens in this Central Asian nation that houses a key U.S. air base.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who came to power in a similar popular uprising five years ago, was said to have fled to the southern city of Osh, and it was difficult to gauge how much of the impoverished, mountainous country the opposition controlled Wednesday.

"The security service and the Interior Ministry ... all of them are already under the management of new people," Rosa Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister who the opposition leaders said would head the interim government, told the Russian-language Mir TV channel.

The opposition has called for the closure of the U.S. air base in Manas outside the capital of Bishkek that is a key transit point for supplies essential to the war in nearby Afghanistan.
Hmmmm...I remember when Rosa Otunbayeva was an actively pro-US Kyrgyz politician. We'll have to wait until the dust settles to know what really happened. If the US really does lose the Manas base, then I guess we weren't behind the latest coup, after all--but you never know...