Central Asia Theater
The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan is divided by a popular uprising in the wake of contested elections, with the government of President Askar Akayev in control in the northern capital, Bishkek, but the southern city of Osh now in the hands of opposition protesters. Normality is starting to return to Osh following a wave of strikes and protests which culminated in the ouster of the official governor Kubanych Joldoshev and installation in power of an opposition leader, Anvar Artykov, who the central government refuses to recognize.
The world is paying little note, but there is a popular uprising underway following contested elections in Kyrgyzstan, a key US ally in Central Asia. On March 20, protesters rallying against President Askar Akayev burned down police headquarters in the southern city of Jalal-Abad, in response to a pre-dawn action by special police units who briefly took back control of a regional administration office that had been occupied by opposition activists since early March.
Uighur businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer, freed from a Chinese prison in an apparent deal with Washington, arrived in Chicago March 17, rejoicing at her unexpected release and vowing to work "for the entire Uighur nation."
Assailants threw a grenade into the empty apartment of a prominent Kyrgyz opposition leader March 3, causing no casualties, in an attack both opposition and authorities accused each other of staging.