Kyrgyzstan was once an island of relative tranquillity and democracy in Central Asia. The renewed violence in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions in the southwest, together with April’s revolution – the second in five years – seals its status as CentralAsia’s most unstable country. Respected former diplomat Roza Otunbaeva, whose interim government’s claim to legitimacy rests on the fragile basis that it was put there by the people by force, has announced that she will not run for the presidency herself at the end the year. A provisional government is a lame duck, but it has issued shoot-to-kill orders during curfews. The great powers have interests there, but they have stopped short of intervention.