Clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s southern capital, flared for a second straight night on June 11. Government security forces appear undermanned and ill equipped to contain the violence, which has left at least 45 dead and hundreds injured.
Kyrgyzstan’s provisional leaders are counting on an upcoming constitutional referendum to foster stability and legitimize the country’s political transition. But civil society activists are complaining that the provisional government’s referendum approach does more to sow doubts than boost confidence in the process.
Some observers are drawing strong parallels with the current instability in Kyrgyzstan and the "Tulip Revolution" of March 2005. While there are definitely some similarities, there are also some substantial differences.
Kyrgyzstan's central government is keeping up the pressure on suspected Islamic radicals, in particular members the underground group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. The crackdown is not only squeezing Islamic radicals, it's also placing many local officials in southern Kyrgyzstan in a bind.
Economic adversity and aggressive government action in Kyrgyzstan have placed Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a non-violent Islamic radical group, on the defensive. The underground organization now is struggling to regain traction as its membership dwindles.