Tensions in Bishkek on the rise again?
I was quite surprised this morning. When I drove by Ala-Too Sqare I saw hundreds of people gathering. I watched the crowd a while. A mobile stage with speakers was erected right behind the national history museum. Pop music was played, obviously to attract more people, before speeches were held by several individuals, focusing on the failure of the government to address the people’s problems. I would estimate the crowd to be around 3000 people. Some carried posters demanding to reinstall the former Bishkek mayor.
Overall the event was peaceful but rumors later spoke about attempts to bribe visitors, to distribute vodka among them and to stir aggression against the interim government. According to the news agency 24.kg, senior Bishkek citizens then stepped in to calm down aggressions. In the meantime the rally has peacefully dissolved.
Other rumors speak of a revival of citizen patrols. Several hundred Bishkek residents patrol the city’s streets since 4 p.m. to protect houses and businesses against new lootings. The German embassy has already reacted and is calling on German citizens to pay again more attention to developments on the streets and recommend to stay at home after dark.