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This week’s editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Kyrgyzstan failing, and an arc of crisis

The violent descent of parts of Kyrgyzstan into communal conflict since the overthrow of its president in April 2010 leaves a security vacuum whose dangerous effects could be felt across central Asia, says Vicken Cheterian. 

Why are Kyrgyzstan’s slum dwellers so angry?

If you want to understand what has motivated the uprising of Kyrgyzstan’s poor, you need look no further than the package of neo-liberal economic reforms imposed on the country by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organisation, comments Balihar Sanghera

Violence escalates in southern Kyrgyzstan

Violence escalates in southernKyrgyzstan, killing 114. Israel launches flotilla inquiry. 15 killed, 45 wounded in Baghdad blast. Colombian military officials rescued after 12 years. All this and more, in today's security update.

US ‘disappointed’ with Turkey on Iran sanctions

The US Secretary of Defence voices disappointment over Turkey. A terrorist strike hits Kandahar. Scores are dead in Kyrgyzstan clashes. A bomb attack hits an Algerian police barracks. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Out of Asia

The meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation could hail a realignment of power politics in Asia, argues Ángel Gómez-de-Ágreda

Curfews across Thailand anticipate further unrest

Curfew extended in Bangkok after Red Shirts dispersed. International investigation reports South Korean Cheonan sunk by North Korean torpedo. State of emergency imposed in southern Kygyzstan. Pakistan prepares for offensive in North Waziristan. Maoist attacks prompt strategy rethink in India. All this and more in today's briefing.

Kickstarting the Kyrgyz economy

On 8 April 2010 Kyrgyzstan experienced its second revolution in five years. The corrupt regime of President Bakiev fell as citizens rebelled after government troops opened fire on protesters, killing more than 80 people and wounding 1500. The new interim government is now preparing elections.

Iran accuses US of nuclear threats

Tehran criticises US' nuclear threats. Victory likely for Bashir after controversial Sudanese elections. Peshawar stuck by twin suicide attacks. Ethnic violence threatens Kyrgyz interim government. All this and more in today's update.

Breaking point: why the Kyrgyz lost their patience

Kyrgyzstan is suffering from a crisis of governance, reports Madeleine Reeves. But an analysis of the problems that limits itself to “state failure” is missing the point. What brought the Kyrgyz on to the streets was inequality and economic misery, muffled for years by the New Great Game.

Kyrgyzstan: what is to be done?

The ineptitude of policies championed by the USA is to blame for the political violence in Kyrgyzstan which overthrew the government. Only a long-term vision of radical political change could make amends. David Coombes lays out key priorities

The Kyrgyz catastrophe

Bishkek’s bloody regime-change reflects the aborted hopes of the brief political flowering in 2005. But a key question of external agency remains, says Sureyya Yigit.

Ambitious goals set at nuclear summit

Nuclear summit sets lofty goals for member nations. Interim Kyrgyz government asserts its authority. Fighting displaces 100,000 in Mogadishu, says UN. Thai red shirt protesters refuse talks. Mexico's drug violence kills 23,000. Hostilities erupt in southern Philippine island. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Outrage in Kandahar after deadly NATO attack on Afghan bus

NATO killings of Afghan civilians spark street protests in Kandahar. Obama presses Hu to collaborate on Iran sanctions. Kyrgyzstan’s defiant president ordered to yield. Israeli forces kill Palestinian militant near Gaza border. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Kyrgyzstan: fractured, but not broken

Kyrgyzstan’s government has fallen, its provisional rulers are untested, and there is as yet no sign of a lasting political settlement. Yet that does not mean it will automatically follow the example of neighbour Tajikistan and descend into civil war, writes John Heathershaw

Landmark Sudanese elections marred by confusion, delay and allegations of fraud

Sudan polling starts amidst delays and confusion. Polish president and other elites died in plane crash. Obama hosts ‘unprecedented’ nuclear summit. Death toll rises to 21 in Bangkok protests. Ousted Kyrgyz president defiant as interim leader takes office. All this and more, in today's security update.

Central Asia: new security challenges

Kyrgyzstan’s violence underscores the instability of those former Soviet governments which are burdened by authoritarian and corrupt rule. To varying degrees, every Central Asian country faces serious threats at home and from the war in neighboring Afghanistan. They need help. The West and Russia should act, including by engaging the underutilized Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Kyrgyzstan: what will happen to the tulips?

As another “colour revolution” is overthrown in Kyrgyzstan, Boris Dolgin reflects that it changed nothing. Will the country be able to sort out a more nuanced relationship with the USA, Russia and China?

US and Russia sign historic nuclear deal

US and Russia sign historic nuclear deal. Sudan elections in doubt as more opposition parties boycott. Kyrgyz opposition sets up ‘peoples’ government’. Al-Qaeda officials move from Yemen into Somalia. All this and much more in today’s security briefing.

Kyrgyzstan on brink of revolution, state of emergency declared

Violent protests erupt in Kyrgyzstan. Thai government declares a state of emergency. NATO accused of civilian deaths in Afghanistan. Russia announces new anti-terror measures in the North Caucasus. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Kyrgyzstan's default mode is Russia

Kyrgyzstan's decision to end the US lease on its Manas airbase is the latest move in Russia's aggressive foreign policy in the post-Soviet space. Sureyya Yigit advises Obama that the Kyrgyz elite can be rented, if the price is right... But in the end they will revert to their old owners - the Russians.
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