New Kyrgyz President Wants To Shut Down US Base

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Context

The newly elected president of Kyrgyzstan has vowed to shut down key military bases in the country. President Atambayev made history by winning office in a peaceful manner through a democratic process. He like his predecessor, Former President Bakiyev declared to close the Manas Airbase which was opened in 2001; Nearly 15,000 troops and 500 tonnes of military cargo pass through the base monthly. Some 1200 US personnel are also stationed at the base.

The base has led to growing resentment amongst residents of the area, who claim, the transport planes damage the environment and also create noise pollution. Crimes committed by American officials in the country have also gone unpunished due to immunity enjoyed by US personnel in Kyrgyzstan.

The previous government backed down from its attempts to close the bases after the US agreed to pay it three fold the rent, and to rename the base the “Manas Transit Center”.