Sunday, 11 April 2010

Kyrgyzstan and Sudan

are places not in Poland where interesting things are happening.  Assiduous readers of the world's media (not the Guardian) will know that elections are taking place in Sudan, and that these are very important for the country's president, Omar al-Bashir, who needs a democratic mandate now that he has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.  When I was in London I took part in demonstrations against al-Bashir and his murderous genocidal regime.  Parties opposed to that regime are boycotting the poll because of suspected fraud.  Undoubtedly there is fraud, but I think boycotts are always a mistake.

Readers will know that there has been a coup d'etat in Kyrgyzstan, and that one of the new regime's first acts has been to state that the US will be allowed to use a base on its territory. So a clear (and welcome) message there.  Demonstrations by keffiyah-wearing juveniles, waving copies of the Guardian, against "US occupation"?  Anyone?  (sound of tumbleweed)

Here is the BBC on the subject:

The US says Kyrgyzstan's interim leader has promised to honour key security agreements, days after she came to power following a bloody uprising.
US officials said Roza Otunbayeva had vowed not to interrupt operations from a military base the US uses to supply troops and supplies to Afghanistan.
The US stopped troop movements from the base, near the capital Bishkek, last week during an anti-government revolt.
Protesters overthrew the president last week but dozens died in the uprising.

As for Poland, I must say I was puzzled as to how such a thing could happen.  If a pilot is instructed by air traffic control to divert to another airport because of fog then the pilot does just that, I thought, it has certainly happened to a plane I was on at least once - and I should not think the president's plane would be piloted by amateurs.  A correspondent suggests that the president himself was unpleased at the notion of diverting to Minsk and coming back to Smolensk by road and overruled the air traffic control instruction.  Well, he's not around to ask.  My tendency to look for conspiracies (after all President Kaczynski was very anti-Russian and there are those in Russia who were making political capital from the "concession" on Katyn) has fortunately been exploded by this book, see below, which I would recommend to all interested and thoughtful readers (I am sure there are some).

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