by Andy Rocchelli

The Kyrgyz Republic gained independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Because of poverty and north-south ethnic divisions – in particular between the majority Kyrgyz and the Uzbek populations – it has endured a succession of violent conflicts. The southern city of Osh has repeatedly been a theatre for bloody clashes between the two ethnic groups. The violence from 10 to 14 June 2010 had caused hundreds of deaths and driven thousands from their homes, and entire Uzbek districts had been burnt down.