– ToL provides a lucid analysis of the Kyrgyzstan authorities’ opaque and defensive response to the allegations raised by the Commission of Inquiry appointed to report on last summer’s ethnic violence in the south of the country (blogged on here). The comment notes that the Kyrgyz authorities raise valid points related to their own lack of capacity and preparedness for such violence, as well as the fact that they ultimately handled the situation without significant outside help. However, the fact that the response continues a government tendency to both blame the (Uzbek) victims and deny ethnic divisions in the country seems almost calculated to deepen them. As ToL gloomily concludes, “[i]f a lasting peace comes to Kyrgyzstan’s south, we fear it will be only after the last of a demoralized Uzbek community has left town.”
– UNHCR reports on the desperate situation of those displaced by the fighting last month in Cote d’Ivoire, which saw the belated installation of the winner of last year’s Presidential election, Alessane Ouattara. Even during its peak, the fighting in Cote d’Ivoire only barely emerged from the shadow of the ongoing drama in Libya and the lack of subsequent news has probably come as a relief to many in the overtaxed world of international diplomacy. However, according to UNHCR, the current obstacles to return and normalization are primarily related to relatively manageable phenomena such as security concerns and destruction, rather than the type of macro-level political blockages that can result in protracted displacement situations.
The New York Times provided some analysis on the UN’s recent upward revision of global population growth (to 10.1 billion and rising rather than 9 billion and stabilizing by mid-century). The report focuses on the fact that this is still not a Malthusian collapse scenario at the global level, but that the results could be devastating locally in places such as Yemen (with runaway population growth and the looming prospect of running completely out of water).