Permissible Arms

Brick by Brick

Posted in afghanistan, kyrgyzstan by Karaka on 7 June 2010

Ouch. Kyrgyzstan’s interim government has taken its first casualty:

Edil Baisalov’s departure from the government renews concerns about political stability in this volatile Central Asian nation, which was shaken earlier this year by a mass revolt that led to the toppling of then-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

“First of all, I am interested in seeing the events of April 7 through to their logical conclusion,” Baisalov told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “In the popular uprising, we kicked out Bakiyev’s corrupt family. … Now we must return Kyrgyzstan to the path of democracy.”

…Baisalov criticized appointments made by the provisional government and complained that corruption remained rampant.

He intends to start his own party, which will probably be for the best in general for Kyrgyz democracy; but sowing dissent only a couple of months after Bakiyev’s ousting signals instability in the otherwise publicly unified government.

From New Eurasia (h/t Josh Foust), Kyrgyzstan’s Special Women and Tactics Team:

According to, SWAT teams or the “revolutionists” (as they call themselves) are “a group of marginalized women, used by authorities as crowds during rallies”. Most of the time they are an active part of a crowd heating up the situation and keeping it on the edge of a spontaneous conflict. SWAT teams are not an established institute of some sort, but rather, a group of women on a local level (province, district), size of which can vary depending on circumstances and objectives. However, core of the group remains the same – locals know who they are and their whereabouts. Some suggest that core of a team can work outside the province/village of origin.

Former deputy head of National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan described the work of these teams to New Times as “quick and effective enough, creating necessary conditions in the crowd”. Their effectiveness and speed were well demonstrated during several takeovers of the Jalal-Abad province administration and province TV station buildings on April 17 as well as other numerous rallies around the country.

Interesting. And a clever tactic; the article goes on to describe the rationale behind using such SWAT teams, including the perception that police won’t shoot at women. It’s curious to see the power Kyrgyz women wield in the situation, and how that power is directed by an exterior authority.

Also, rough day for NATO in Afghanistan; 10 dead in several different attacks over the course of the day.

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