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Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan

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Date(s) Item
501 - 600 Beginning about 1000 B.C the area of the Kyrgyz state was inhabited by large tribes known as Scythians. Around the 6th century the region was invaded by Kyrgyz tribes who played a major role in the development of feudalism. The first Kyrgyz state existed from the 6th until the 13th century A.D. By the 10th century the state expanded southwestward to the eastern and northern regions of present-day Kyrgyzstan and westward to the headwaters of the Ertis (Irtysg) River in present-day eastern Kazakstan. During this period the feudal society of Kyrgyzstan established intensive commercial contacts with China, Tibet, Central Asia and Persia.
601 - 700 The Kyrgyz Khanate reached its greatest expansion by conquering the Uygur Khanate and forcing it out of Mongolia, then moving as far south as the Tian Shan range. By 12th century Kyrgyz domination shrunk to the region of the Sayan Mountains, northwest of present-day Mongolia, and the Altay Range on the present-day border of China and Mongolia. In the same period, other Kyrgyz tribes moved across a wide area of Central Asia and mingled with other ethnic groups.
1001 - 1100 Persian replaced Arabic as standard written language in most of Central Asia and remained in official use through fifteenth century.
1301 - 1400 Mongols conquered Central Asia, reduced Iranian influence and destroyed cultural centers. The son of Chinggis (Genghis) Khan conquered the Yenisey Kyrgyz thereby establishing a 200 year long Mongol domination. The Kyrgyz remained under the Golden Horde and the Oriot and Jumgar khanates that succeed the regime. Independence was regained in the 16th century. The Kyrgyz tribes were overrun by the Kalmyks in the 17th century, then by the Manchus in the mid- 18th century, and by the Uzbeks in the early 19th century.
1861 - 1870 Jadidist reform movement was founded. The Jadidists were supported by Tajiks, Tatars, and Uzbeks. Being modernizers and nationalists who viewed Central Asia as a whole, they believed that the religious and cultural greatness of Islamic civilization had been degraded in the Central Asia of their day.
1865 - 1868 Russians established the Guberniya (Governorate General) of Turkestan as a central administrative unit. In 1899 it included the present-day Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and southeastern Kazakstan.
1876 Russians defeated Quqon Khanate and occupied northern Kyrgyzstan. Within five years all Kyrgyzstan became a part of the Russian empire and the Kyrgyz slowly began to integrate themselves into the economic and political life of Russia. However, Russian policy did not attempt educating the population and most of it retained its traditional life-style.
1891 - 1900 Large-scale Russian settlement in Kyrgyzstan and northern Kazakstan diminished Kazak and Kyrgyz nomadism.
1900 Jadidism became the first major movement of Central Asian political resistence.
1916 A bloody rebellion against Russian land confiscation and conscription began in Uzbekistan and then spread into Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Turkmenistan. An estimated 2,000 Slavic settlers and even more local people were killed, and the harsh Russian reprisals drove one third of the Kyrgyz population to China.
1917 The Bolshevik revolution began the establishment of the Soviet state.
1918 The Bolshevik crushed the autonomous government in Quqon. Jadidists began a decade-long Basmachi revolt involving elements from all five republics.
1920 The newly established Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic incorporated within itself the areas of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan.
1921 Communists won in the Russian Civil War and reduced the power of the Central Asian party branches. In 1924 the territory of the present-day Kyrgyzstan was designated as the Kara-Kyrghyz Autonomous Region. In 1926 it was renamed as the Kyrgyz Autonomous Republic.
1925 The Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Kazak ASSR) was separated from Kyrgyz ASSR.
1929 - 1934 Soviet collectivization induced widespread famine in Central Asia.
1936 Kyrgyz and Kazak ASSRs were given full republic status in the Soviet Union.
1956 - 1964 A campaign of rehabilitation were carried out toward Central Asian leaders purged by Stalin leaders. Russification remained a prerequisite for party advancement.
1985 Michail Gorbachev was elected as first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1989 An Uzbek-rights group called Adalat began airing old grievances in 1989, demanding that Moscow grant local Uzbek autonomy in Osh and consider its annexation by nearby Uzbekistan.
Jun 1989 Clashes between Uzbeks and Meskhetian Turks broke out after a disagreement in a market between an Uzbek vendor and a Meskhetian buyer. The incident sparked widespread violence that spread to several cities in the Fergana valley. Around 100 people were killed and 600-800 wounded. The victims were mainly Meskhetians and the perpetrators mainly Uzbeks. Hundreds of homes and government buildings were also burned. Several thousand troops were sent in to quell the violence that took place over the course of a week. Moscow later evacuated 17,000 Meskhetians. They had in recent months been pressuring the government to let them return to their homeland in Georgia from which they were deported during World War II for fear they would support Turkey in the even of an invasion of Russia. Moscow then appointed Islam Karimov as first secretary of the Communist party of Uzbekistan. (Los Angeles Time, 6/6/89; BBC, 6/8/89; Toronto Star, 6/12/89 and 6/13/89)
1990 - 1999 The Central Asian states were the scene of several incidents of ethnic conflict. Ethnic clashes between the Tajiks and Kyrgyz took place nearly every summer over water rights. In February 1990, Tajiks and Armenians clashed in Tajikistan. Clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz erupted in the Fergana valley in June 1990 over land issues. One to two hundred people were killed in the latter violent incident (The Economist, 9/21/91)
Mar 1990 350 Deputies were elected to the Kyrgyz Supreme Soviet, with an average of 3 candidates contesting every seat. 70 seats, however, were filled in uncontested elections. The situation was much the same at the local level, where almost 40% of the seats went uncontested. Though almost 95% of the Deputies are Communist Party members, many have supported President Akayev's political reform program.
May 1990 The Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement (KDM) held its founding congress. The KDM originally grew as a coalition of several different groups generally supporting Kyrgyzstan independence and reform. Some groups within the KDM split along national lines, and some eventually broke away to form separate political parties.
Jun 1990 An ethnic clash has erupted in Osh, an industrial center and second largest city of Kyrgyzstan, near the border of Uzbekistan, between ethnic Uzbeks and indigenous Kyrgyz. According to official reports, over 300 people were killed in the pogrom. Soviet forces fired machine guns at a crowd of 20,000 Uzbeks in the first incident. A state of emergency and a curfew were introduced, and the border between Uzbekistan and Kirghizia was closed to traffic. Osh is a majority Uzbek area. Troops had fought to prevent up to 15,000 Uzbeks armed with weapons from crossing into Osh region to join the fighting. According to one account in Komsomolskaya Pravda, the trouble was fueled by rival groups' demands for homestead plots in a tract of 80 acres being released by the government. The allocation of the land to Kyrgyz prompted violent protests by local Uzbeks who complained that they were not receiving their fair share. The conflict was discussed at a meeting in Osh between the Prime Ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The Prime Minister of Uzbekistan denounced calls by Uzbek nationalists for the areas of Kirghizia with a majority Uzbek population to be declared autonomous or even ceded to Uzbekistan. (Keesings, p. 37541, June 1990.)
Oct 1990 The Supreme Soviet elected Askar Akayev, the liberal President of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, President of the Republic. Akayev quickly allied himself with reformist politicians and economists, including leaders of the KDM.
Nov 1990 Askar Akayev defeated the communist incumbent in presidential elections and became president of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
Dec 1990 Despite opposition from the KCP, the parliament voted to change the name of the Republic from the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
Feb 1991 By decision of the Kyrgyz Supreme Soviet, Kyrgyz's capital city, Frunze (named after the Red Army commander who had conquered much of Central Asia in the Civil War), reverted to its pre-1926 name, Bishkek.
Mar 1991 A Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed between the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and the Uzbek SSR in the town of Osh. The delegations were headed by the Presidents of the two republics. The intention on both sides was to move beyond the tensions provoked by last year's ethnic conflict between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the region.
Aug 1991 President Akayev left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and the Republic Politburo (Political Bureau, or the chief policymaking body of the party). Party property was nationalized and its funds frozen. CP activities were suspended for 6 months beginning on August 30. The next day the Kyrgyz parliament declared the country's independence from the USSR.
Oct 1991 In the first popular Kyrgyz presidential election, the sole candidate and incumbent, Askar Akayev, was elected with 95.3% of the vote. Turnout was estimated as 90% of eligible voters. Akayev was widely seen as a democrat and as eager to cultivate contacts with western countries.
Dec 1991 All five Central Asian republics including Kyrgyzstan formally agreed to join the new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The Kyrgyz parliament passed a Law on the Freedom of Religion and Religious Organizations.
Apr 1992 Leaders of Central Asian states met in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital. Documents creating structures for the regional economy were signed by the delegates, except Turkmenistan. Turkish Premier S. Demirel visited the Muslim republics of the CIS including Kyrgyzstan.
Jun 1992 Kyrgyzstan signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation with Russia.
Jun 1992 Five Central Asian states began taking over former Soviet military installations on their territories.
Jul 1992 Kyrgyzstan signed military agreements with Russia.
Aug 1992 A strong earthquake that jostled Central Asia killed at least 50 people in the remote Susamyr valley in Kyrgyzstan, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. The quake, measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale, struck in the morning of 19th instant with an epicenter about 380 km northeast of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Nov 1992 The Uighurs, an ethnic group distinct from others in the region, in Kyrgyzstan attempted to form a party calling for the establishment of independent Uighurstan that also would include the Chinese-controlled Uighur territory.
Dec 1992 The draft Constitution, adopted by the "Uluk Kenesh" (the renamed Supreme Soviet, or parliament) reconfirmed Kyrgyz as the state language. It also stipulated that the President must have a fluent command of Kyrgyz.
Jan 1993 According to a study by sociologists at the Bishek Polytechnic Institute, only 10% of the Kyrgyz in the Osh region favor an Islamic republic, while 25% of the Uzbeks favor the same. The Islamic Rebirth Party - the backbone of which comprises Uzbeks - was active in the Kyrgyz part of the Valley. (BBC, 01/15/93.)
1993 Kyrgyzstan became the first former Soviet republic to leave the ruble zone and introduce its own currency.
May 1993 The first Constitution of the free and independent Kyrgyz state was adopted On May 5th. In a dramatic break with Communist practices, the fundamental idea that man, by nature and destiny, was superior to the state, was incorporated as the guiding principle in the Constitution.
Dec 1993 President Akayev dismissed the government headed by Prime Minister Chyngyshev after it failed to win a parliamentary vote of confidence over a scandal of illegal gold exports.
Dec 1993 US Vice-President Al Gore described his visit to Kyrgyzstan as "an expression of the active support by the American administration for the policy of Askar Akayev." (Keesings, 12/93.)
1994 Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan established a limited common market.
Apr 1994 Max van der Stoel, CSCE High Commissioner for Minority Affairs, had a meeting with President Akayev in Bishek. Van der Stoel and President Akayev discussed matters related to ethnic minorities in Kyrgyzstan.
May 1 - Jul 31, 1994 Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan joined NATO’s initiative, Partnership for Peace.
Sep 1994 Kyrgyz government resigned and parliament was dissolved.
Oct 22, 1994 In a referendum, Kyrgyz voters strongly backed the introduction of a bicameral legislature.
Jan 5, 1995 A national census determined that the percentage of the population of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan had risen from 12.9% in 1991 to 13.9% in 1994. This rise was attributed to the mass emigration of ethnic Russians from Kyrgyzstan since the country declared its independence.
Feb 1995 A new 105 member parliament was elected in two rounds of voting. A disproportionally low number of ethnic Uzbeks were elected to serve in this parliament.
Mar 1995 The State Department reported that ethnic Uzbeks had complained of discrimination by Kyrgyz government officials.
Apr 21, 1995 The newly formed cabinet included one ethnic Uzbek.
Jul 18, 1995 TASS reported that the Kyrgyz government was supporting Uzbek-language instruction at institutions of higher education.
Oct 7, 1995 The BBC reported that the state of emergency imposed on the Uzbek-populated Osh region in 1990 had been lifted.
Dec 24, 1995 President Akayev won in the first contested Presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan.
Feb 1996 Akayev extended his presidential powers in a referendum.
Feb 1996 Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan signed an extended customs union agreement with Belarus and Russia.
Feb 1996 Government resigned following the approval of Akayev administrative appointments.
Mar 1996 Akayev named a new cabinet headed by Apas Jumagulov.
Mar 1996 Kyrgyzstan banned Ittipak, a Uygur separatist movement.
Mar 1996 Following substantial pressure from Russia, the Kyrgyz parliament adopted a resolution making Russian, along with Kyrgyz, an official state language.
Aug 1996 The Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan signed an accord for the creation of a single economic market by the year 1998.
Jan 1997 At a meeting of the Central Asian Economic Union, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan signed a mutual defense treaty and discussed mutual convertibility of currencies.
Jan 1997 Topchubek Turgunaligev, head of the opposition Erkin Party in Kyrgyzstan, was sentenced to prison for embezzlement as political repression tightened.
Feb 1997 The State Department reported that like any other minority in Kyrgyzstan, the ethnic Uzbeks suffered discrimination in hiring, promotion and housing. The ethnic Uzbeks, officially designated as a Russian speaking minority, complained that government officials at all levels favored the ethnic Kyrgyz. The State Department noted that the predominance of ethnic Kyrgyz in government offices lent weight to this claim. (US Department of State)
Mar 1997 Kyrgyzstan extended the mandate for the presence of Russian border troops through the end of 1997.
Sep 1997 Forces of the United States joined troops of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan in peacekeeping exercise in south-central Kazakstan.
Feb 23, 1998 Muslim scholars and leaders of the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, who gathered at their first meeting after the collapse of communism, called on the Islamic people to show unity and solidarity. The religious leaders said it was their duty to oppose propaganda movements which developed the ideas of atheism and renunciation of religion. (BBC)
Feb 27, 1998 Khimatulla Tursunov, the Uzbek Defense Minister announced that regular exercises of the Central Asian peace-keeping battalion would be held in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in September, 1998. The exercises, said the minister, would be attended by contingents of the countries which had participated in the last year. (ITAR-TASS)
Mar 5, 1998 Foreign ministers of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan discussed at a meeting in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, the threat of Islamic extremism in the region. The ministers also discussed the issues of "preserving a secular state" in Tajikistan and combating arms and drugs smuggling. Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov observed without going into detail that certain countries supported extremist activities in Central Asia.(BBC)
May 9, 1998 Uzbek President Karimov told a news conference that Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan and Russia had planned an Uzbek-Russian-Tajik Agreement to resist the threat posed by Islamic states in Central Asia. (BBC) Karimov attributed the need for the alliance to the spread of the extremist wing of the Islamic fundamentalism, known as Wahhabism, in Central Asia and the Caucasus. According to Karimov, Wahhabites aimed to come to power and set up Islamic states wherever possible. He explained that the spread of Wahhabism posed a threat to the territories of both Uzbekistan and Russia. (Moscow News, 14 May 1998)
May 14, 1998 It was reported that Kyrgyzstan would join the anti-fundamentalist pact of Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, on the level of the national security ministers. The move corresponded to the norms of the Kyrgyz internal legislation: the Kyrgyz constitution prohibits religious activities which pursue political objectives.(Moscow News)
May 15, 1998 On the occasion of the appearance of Wahhabi missionaries in the republic, presidential spokesman Kanybek Imanaliyev said that Kyrgyzstan would “act to stop any expression of religious extremism and terrorism”.(BBC)
Jun 16, 1998 Security forces in Kyrgyzstan arrested four people on suspicion of involvement in two explosions in the southern town of Osh at the end of May which had killed four people and injured 11 others. Members of the "Wahhabi" sect, a conservative brand of Sunni Islam containing Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, were believed to have been behind the two explosions. (BBC)
Aug 13, 1998 The Russian Defense Minister, Mr. Igor Sergeyev, said, he would meet his counterparts from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to discuss the increasingly complicated situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban advancement towards Russia’s border.(FT Asia Intelligence Wire)
Oct 16, 1998 On the night of October 10, officials of the National Security Ministry's Osh Department confiscated more than 700 tons of smuggled military hardware in southern Kyrgyzstan. The materials reportedly originated in the town of Meshkhed in Iran. According to documents, the military hardware was disguised as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Iran had declared an open war on the Taliban and it desired to support the Taliban's enemies Generals Rashid Dustum and Akhmad Shakh Masud. Iran was compelled to choose a roundabout route for the hardware. (Agency WPS)
Jan 7, 1999 The first congress of veterans of the war in Afghanistan and other local conflicts was held in Bishkek. The goals of the congress were to promote reform within the Kyrgyz army, combat corruption in the government and military, and assist veterans of the wars and their families (BBC).
Feb 8, 1999 A spokesman of Uzbek Foreign Minister Bakhadyr Umarov, announced that Uzbekistan would leave the CIS Collective Security Treaty because the latter did not meet the demands of the time and it did not perform its designated functions. In addition, the spokesman said, Tashkent did not agree with Russian military activity in some CIS countries. Russian activities in Armenia and Tajikistan were in particular disliked by Uzbekistan as they helped to promote Russian interests in regions of interest to Uzbekistan.(Agency WPS)
Feb 23, 1999 Interviewed at Tashkent airport before his departure for a summit with the presidents of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the Kazakh capital, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said that Uzbekistan's neighbors were milking Uzbek supplies of food and goods. He said that 5,000 people traveled every day from the southern Kyrgyz town of Osh into eastern Uzbekistan, buying up goods and taking them back to Kyrgyzstan. (BBC)
Mar 15, 1999 Deputies of the Kyrgyz parliament were seriously worried about the tense situation on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border after acts of terrorism had taken place in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital. The deputies maintained that ethnic relations had seriously deteriorated in the Fergana Valley. Kyrgyz deputies demanded that troops be stationed on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border, or the neighbors would be cut off from the water supply. Meanwhile, members of Asaba, the nationalist party in Kyrgyzstan, adopted a resolution according to which Uzbekistan must return all land that had been transferred to that republic under the Soviet rule. (Agency WPS)
Mar 18, 1999 Deputies of the standing chamber of the Kyrgyz Legislative Assembly launched a sharp attack on the government, which had allocated 22,000 tonnes of wheat from the state reserves to pay for the debt from supplied natural gas owed to Uzbekistan . The head of the Kyrgyzgaz, Sagyn Aynakulov, was also criticized for supplying flour to Uzbekistan at 220 dollars for one tonne, which was $100 dollars less than the world prices. (BBC)
May 9, 1999 Iranian radio from Mashhad carried an appeal from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to the parliaments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan asking them not to extradite to Uzbekistan Muslims seeking "a last refuge" in their countries. The appeal, signed by the chairman of the Political Department of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, identified as Zubayr ibn Abdurahim, said that under the "the tyrannical, despotic and dictatorial policy carried out by Uzbekistan's government", innocent people were persecuted "only because they were Muslims". "We state firmly", the appeal concluded, "that our only enemy is the ruthless regime of Uzbekistan's dictator."(BBC)
May 20, 1999 Six CIS countries- Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - confirmed their adherence to the Collective Security Treaty. The CIS Collective Security Treaty had been signed in Tashkent on May 15, 1992 by nine countries, the six above and Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan.(Iterfax Russian News)
Aug 1999 It was reported that on August 21st, armed Islamists crossed into southern Kyrgyzstan from their bases in Tajikistan, took about a dozen hostages and demanded to be allowed to enter Uzbekistan. Many of the militants, like their leader, Juma Namangani, were Uzbeks from the Fergana Valley, who had fled to Tajikistan during the break up of the Soviet Union in the hope of escaping religious and political persecution. Mr Namangani’s group had ties with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a shadowy organization whose spiritual leader, Tohir Yoldosh, operated from a base in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In Tajikistan, Mr Namangani’s men had fought alongside the Islamist opposition during the 1992-1997 civil war. They were also alleged to have trained guerrillas for operations inside Uzbekistan. But, as the UN-sponsored peace process matured, the Tajik Islamists, who had accepted a 30% share in government, decided that sheltering armed Uzbeks was increasingly at odds with their political objectives. The break into Kyrgyzstan with the intent to stage a rebellion in Uzbekistan was a first attempt of Mr.Namangani’s followers to find their place in the post-war politics of Central Asia. It supported the IMU’s claim that the group in Kyrgyzstan was the vanguard of a new jihad or holy war against the Uzbek regime. (The Economist Newspaper Ltd : 4 September 1999)
Aug 22, 1999 Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan carried out a joint military operation to flush out a group of 21 fighters from a remote mountainous region of Kyrgyzstan about 15 kilometers (eight miles) from the Tajik border. The operation backfired when Tajikistan accused Uzbek bombers of straying over into its territory in a dawn raid. Following a series of official denials, Uzbek President Islam Karimov finally admitted that his air force might have dropped bombs on Tajikistan in its attempt to "liquidate" the rebel group. Uzbekistan had claimed that eastern Tajikistan was home to secret training camps for Moslem fighters who were trying to overthrow Karimov and set up an Islamic state in Central Asia. (Agence France Presse)
Aug 28, 1999 The government of Kyrgyzstan sent 2,000 reserve soldiers to the southern part of the country to help fight Moslem rebels. President Askar Askayev ordered a partial mobilization. The government asked Russia to help fight the rebels. The rebels’ numbers were estimated at up to 1,600. (Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Aug 29, 1999 The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) released a statement which said that protection of Muslims and the defense of Islam were the movement’s basic goals. The statement said the movement would continue its struggle to free the 50,000 Muslims currently kept in Uzbekistan’s prisons. The statement also said that the establishment of an Islamic state and Koranic rule in Uzbekistan was only possible by jihad or a holy war against the regime in Tashkent. The movement warned the Uzbek government that in order to avoid mass destruction in the republic and bloodshed among innocent people, the government must abandon its policy of violence. In another part of this statement, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan demanded that other countries of the Central Asian region immediately stop their assistance to the Tashkent government.(BBC)
Aug 30, 1999 The heads of defense and national security of the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan held a meeting on 28 August in the city of Osh, southern Kyrgyzstan. Opinions were exchanged on the deteriorating situation taking shape in the south of Kyrgyzstan which began with the kidnapping of foreign and Kyrgyz nationals on 21 August. (BBC)
Aug 31, 1999 In a 10-minute address to the nation broadcast on Kyrgyz radio, President Akayev called upon his people to remain calm over the hostage crisis unfolding in Batken District of Osh Region. He said the crisis was a manifestation of "the internationalization of both terrorism and extremism". Akayev said Kyrgyzstan had "the firm, unambiguous and stable political support" of the leaders and peoples of Kazakhstan, Tajikstan and Uzbekistan, countries which had pledged to "undertake joint and coordinated efforts to counteract international terrorism." He gave assurances that "any actions undermining the stability in the country and region will be resolutely stopped".(BBC)
Sep 3, 1999 Kyrgyz Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev announced that his government was negotiating with a third party for the release of hostages, including four Japanese mining engineers, held by rebels in southern Kyrgyzstan. Silaev stopped short of singling out a country and naming the contact that his government had approached, but he appeared to be referring to the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group in Afghanistan, which supported the rebels. Silaev also said that resolution of the conflict and the release of the hostages were inseparable, and he expressed hope that the problem would be settled by the winter. Meanwhile, in an interview with BBC, a man claiming to be a leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which was believed to be responsible for the kidnapping said that the purpose of the abduction was to exchange the hostages for political prisoners in Uzbekistan. (The Daily Yomiuri)
Sep 4, 1999 Islamic guerrillas demanded the release of 50,000 political prisoners in Uzbekistan in exchange for freeing their hostages. In a statement faxed to the presidential office of Kyrgyzstan, the rebels declared a Jihad (a holy war) against the Uzbek government led by President Islam Karimov with a view to constructing an Islamic state in Uzbekistan. (Jiji Press Ticker Service)
Sep 7, 1999 A member of the Uzbek opposition told Iranian radio that the armed rebels in Kyrgyzstan were Uzbeks fighting for greater freedom of conscience and democracy in Uzbekistan. He said that Uzbekistan no longer enjoyed good relations with Russia or any of the countries of Central Asia. (BBC)
Sep 8, 1999 The Uzbek defense minister said Uzbekistan had alerted its armed forces as a result of the events occurring in neighboring Kyrgyzstan. The Uzbek government had tightened border controls on the order of President Islam Karimov.(Interfax News Agency)
Sep 8, 1999 Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan tried to isolate Islamic militants in the mountains and prevent them from breaking through into the Fegrana Valley in Uzbekistan. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan sent additional units and armored vehicles to their borders with Kyrgyzstan to prevent the invaders from escaping. Ground-strafers were sent after the terrorists. Uzbek aircraft bombed the Kyrgyz village of Kara-Teit. Sporadic skirmishes between the invaders and government troopers were reported. (Agency WPS Defense and Security) While all three Central Asian states were affected by the terrorist acts it was only Kyrgyzstan that was faced with a fait accompli. This occurred at a time when Bishkek did not have the strength to counter on its own the attacks by the rebel opposition to the Uzbek government. Bishkek had hoped that Russia would assist it in fighting the Uzbek guerrillas. However, according to political observers, Russia was not pleased with Uzbekistan's policy of drawing closer to the West and did not have much interest in being involved in direct clashes with the opposition to the government of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. (9 September 1999, BBC)
Sep 8, 1999 Bishkek announced that a corridor for the Mujaheddins would not be provided and that the operation aimed at their extermination would continue. For the time being the invaders controlled several villages. More than 4,000 refugees were fleeing villages taken by the invaders.(Agency WPS Defense and Security)
Sep 9, 1999 The Islamic opposition to the government of Uzbekistan in Kyrgyzstan announced in a statement that if the Kyrgyz government did not respond to their demands, they would announce a jihad against the republic’s government. The fact that the first Russian military aircraft crew arrived in Kyrgyzstan to fight the Uzbek rebels had made the Islamic forces of Uzbekistan react against the Bishkek government. Not a single Central Asian state had been able to head the operations to clear up the crisis.(BBC)
Sep 19, 1999 A senior Kyrgyz government official predicted that unofficial negotiations with Islamic guerrillas aimed at freeing 17 hostages including four Japanese might not bear fruit. The guerrillas, believed to be Uzbek rebels, had proposed talks in either Pakistan or Afghanistan, on the four-week-old hostage crisis. The official said the aim of the guerrillas was "to gain international approval for their status as an Uzbek opposition force". Sources indicated that the guerrillas were hoping to hold official talks with the Kyrgyz government. The Kyrgyz government, refusing to meet the rebels directly, was pursuing unofficial negotiations as a way to secure the hostages' release. (Japan Economic Newswire)
Sep 25, 1999 The lower chamber of the Kyrgyz Supreme Council may enter negotiations with the guerrillas, believed to be Uzbek rebels, in a third country. Sources said the location of the talks was unknown but hinted it might be in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They added, in return for the hostages' release, the guerrillas would likely reiterate their demands that the Kyrgyz government provide them with safe passage to neighboring Uzbekistan and recognize them as an opposition force against the Uzbek government. Meanwhile, a Kyrgyz military official said an internal dispute had split the guerrillas into two groups. The dispute was apparently over the share of ransom money received from the Kyrgyz government in a separate hostage incident. Another theory said that guerrilla leaders criticized the faction for not exchanging the hostages for their comrades imprisoned in Uzbekistan. (Japan Economic Newswire)
Oct 2, 1999 Addressing the crisis in Central Asia, the heads of the states of Armenia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzia and Uzbekistan called for "immediate joint measures to provide necessary assistance to Kyrgyzia."(Itar-Tass News Agency) Uzbek President Islam Karimov visited eastern Fergana valley to inspect security measures taken by Uzbek border troops. Karimov said, all mobilization work had been accomplished. He called for Kyrgyzstan to demonstrate greater urgency and resoluteness in combating the militants who seized hostages in southern Kyrgyzstan in August. (BBC)
Oct 3, 1999 Government troops closed in on guerrillas near their main base in the mountain village of Zardaly. Tajikistan also reinforced its border with Kyrgyzstan. (BBC)
Oct 4, 1999 Islamic militants attacked a village in eastern Uzbekistan. (BBC)
Oct 6, 1999 Uzbekistan was reported to have bombed regions near Tajikistan's border with Kyrgyzstan. "The military measures taken by the Uzbek side could have a negative effect on the political situation and do not comply with the fundamental principles of mutual understanding and good- neighborliness between the two states," a diplomat told Interfax, citing a Tajik government note of protest sent to the Uzbek Foreign Affairs Ministry. (Interfax Russian News)
Oct 8, 1999 Interior ministers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) announced the creation of a joint anti-terrorist center. The body was intended to coordinate the fight against Islamic rebels currently operating in parts of Russia, and in the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. (Agence France Presse)
Oct 9, 1999 Col G. Omorov, the chief of the press center of the joint group of troops in southern Kyrgyzstan, reported that the command of the troops had received a fax message from one of the leaders of the militants, Zubair ibn Abdurrakhman, in which a number of proposals and conditions to settle the conflict had been stated. The proposals were being investigated by the leadership of the Defense Ministry headquarters and the secretariat of the Security Council of Kyrgyzstan. The text and content of the document had not been made public.(BBC)
Oct 11, 1999 Islamic gunmen who invaded Kyrgyzstan in August reportedly retreated to the mountains of Tajikistan. Officials said all but about 100 rebels had left the republic, but there was no word about the four Japanese and 1 Kyrgyz general, and several others who had been taken hostage. The rebels had intended to mount a rebellion against Uzbek President Islam Karimov. (Deutsche Press Agentur).
Oct 13, 1999 Four policemen taken hostage in August were freed at the border with Tajikistan, but others remained in the custody of the rebels. Government troops fully liberated the Khodzha-Achkan gorge, Batken District, the last rebel-held area in southern Krygyzstan. (BBC)
Oct 15, 1999 The leader of the United Tajik Opposition, Sayed Abdullo Nuri, said he would boycott elections scheduled for November unless “more favorable conditions” were guaranteed. He urged the authorities to convene an extraordinary session of the Supreme Assembly to postpone elections so that better preparations for their transparency could be implemented. Further, he stated that his organization wanted the Uzbek opposition to leave Tajikistan, resolve their disagreements with the Uzbek government and not to take the domestic problems of Uzbekistan to Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan (BBC).
Oct 15 - 31, 1999 After days of contradictory reports on their status, it was confirmed that four Japanese geologists, a Kyrgyz general, and two soldiers were freed by their rebel captors. They were reportedly exchanged at the Kyrgyz-Tajik border for several rebels captured by Krygyz forces in recent fighting. There were also unconfirmed reports that a ransom was paid for their release. (Deutsche Press Agentur)
Oct 25, 1999 The Kyrgyzstan government announced that it needed help in strengthening its borders. (BBC) The total number of people killed in the conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan between August and October was 26. All government troops involved in the fighting against the guerrilla group which invaded were being withdrawn from the region. (BBC)
Oct 26, 1999 Russian Prime Minister Putin pledged to help Kyrgyzstan fight terrorism. (BBC)
Nov 10, 1999 In elections in Tajikistan, President Enomali Rakhmonov was reelected with over 90% of the vote. He is seen in the region and elsewhere as too dependent on Russia.
Nov 13, 1999 Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan signed a protocol on establishing diplomatic and consular relations. (BBC)
Nov 16, 1999 The Kyrgyz Security Ministry announced plans to set up a subdivision to fight terrorism. (BBC)
Dec 4, 1999 President Askar Akayev spoke in favor of backing anti-separatist initiatives in the region. He was speaking at a meeting of the heads of law enforcement agencies and special services of the 5 Shanghai states (Russia, China, Kazakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan). (BBC)
Dec 29, 1999 Members of Kyrgyzstan’s Uighur community called on China to end human rights violations in the Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region.
Jan 5, 2000 Defense Minister Esen Topoyev told the press that special attention would be given to the security of Kyrgyzstan’s border in 2000. He said three border detachments and 23 border posts were established on the border with Tajikistan. (BBC)
Apr 28, 2004 Authorities arrested two Uzbeks found printing Hezb-e Tahrir leaflets in Dzhalal-Abad. (BBC Monitoring Central Asia Unit, 4/28/2004, "Two Uzbeks detained in Kyrgyz south for printing Hezb-e Tahrir leaflets")
Nov 20 - Dec 9, 2004 Kyrgyz police saturate Uzbek-dominated areas in southern Kyrgyzstan, raiding houses and arresting more than 50 Uzbeks. (Khamidov, Alisher, 12/9/2004, "Kyrgyz Officials Launch Controversial ‘Terrorist’ Attack Probe," Eurasianet)
Mar 19, 2005 Following discriminatory remarks, Uzbeks organized a petition to call for the resignation of the Kyrgyz MP who made the statements. (BBC Monitoring Central Asia Unit, 12/29/2005, "Kyrgyz MP under fire for criticizing ethnic Uzbek governor")
Apr 2005 A law is signed stipulating that all students applying to universities and government posts be proficient in Kyrgyz. (Freedom House. 2005. "Country Report: Kyrgyzstan.")
May 12, 2005 Authroities shut down an underground Hezb-ut Tahrir printing press. (BBC Monitoring Central Asia Unit, 5/12/2005, "Secret Hezb-e Tahrir printing house closed down in Kyrgyz south")
Jan 12, 2006 Ethnic Uzbeks beat up two ethnic Kyrgyz, which prompted approximately 150 Kyrgyz to gather in preparation for retaliation against Uzbeks. No retaliation occured, however. (The Times of Central Asia, 1/28/2006, "Ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan voice complaints over discrimination and corruption")
May 27, 2006 Approximately 700 Uzbeks protested against increasing discrimination. They also asked for more political representation and official status for the Uzbek language. (Astra Sadybakasova. 6/7/2006. "Kyrgyzstan: How Real are Uzbek Minority Concerns?" Institute for War and Peace Reporting.)
Jun 6, 2006 Authorities arrested the leader of the Uzbek cultural center, prompting supporters protest for his release. (BBC Monitoring Central Asia Unit, 6/13/2006, "Kyrgyz MP says situation tense in Uzbek-dominated southern region")
Jul 15 - Aug 8, 2006 Kyrgyz security forces saturated Uzbek-dominated areas in southern Kyrgyzstan, engaging in searches and arresting dozens of ethnic Uzbeks. (Eurasianet, 8/8/2006, "Anti-Terrorism Crackdown Fuels Discontent in Southern Kyrgyzstan")
Aug 6, 2006 An ethnic Uzbek imam was shot and killed by Kyrgyz security forces. (The Times of Central Asia, 9/7/2006, "Kyrgyzstan to squeeze Islamic extremists")
Oct 15, 2006 Unknown perpetrators assassinated Aibek Alimjanov, head of the Uzbek Cultural Center, in Osh. (Ferghana Information Agency. 10/16/2006. "Kyrgyzstan: The head of the Osh Center of Uzbek Culture assassinated.")


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Information current as of July 16, 2010