Kyrgyzstan’s rebellious southern regions are calm, but that could soon change. The country’s authorities have declared a disputed parliamentary election valid, raising the spectre of renewed violence. Meanwhile, the opposition has reportedly strengthened its grip on Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second city, even holding joint patrols with local police.
Insurgents also control the nearby city of Jalal-Abad. Unrest in the south has claimed several lives, and there are fears of more bloodshed after the election commission validated 69 out of the 75 results in the February and March polls.
President Askar Akayev has welcomed the move and declared the new parliament legitimate, but he risks further international isolation. Foreign observers deemed the vote unfair.