Uzbekistan Update III

Reuters is reporting that Uzbek troops have now ‘retaken’ Kara-suu. Mosnews (citing the BBC) say the rebel leader Bakhtiyor Rakhimov has been arrested. Who Rakhimov is, and what he actually represents is far from clear.

Nathan links to a guardian article which attempts to provide some background on this unusual and improbable figure.

“We will establish here a paradise, a Caliphate, in which Muslim cares for Muslim, taking what he needs and giving away what he can do without, as it says in the Qur’an.

“Allah will provide and lead us forward in our struggle,” he said, gesturing to the sky. “Down with slavery!”

The call for an all-embracing Islamic regime will incense the autocratic president, Islam Karimov, who has made it his aim to stamp out what he perceives as Islamic fanaticism, especially in the traditionally devout east of the country.

This really highlights the problem. Muslim opponents of Karimov may well aspire to some sort of Islamic republic or other. Distinguishing between these aspirations and those who are really in the OBL camp is going to be the hard thing as this situation evolves. And remember, the kind of aspirations expressed by Rakhimov are really not that different from those expressed on a daily basis by some of those who now govern Iraq.

This article from AP describes how relatives are being denied access to hospitals.

Jack Straw is also following the UN lead and calling for an independent international inquiry into the “appalling” reports of reported killings of hundreds of protesters in Uzbekistan.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".