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In the first half of 2010 the small Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan imploded. An uprising ousted its president, the second such violent change of government in five years, and parts of the country descended into chaos. Apparent ethnic violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities resulted in the deaths of nearly 500 people.

This left an already relatively poor country close to economic collapse with the financial sector hit especially hard.

Global Witness’ report on Kyrgyzstan, Grave Secrecy, details an alleged money laundering scandal involving the president’s family.  Central Asia suffers from high levels of corruption and features a host of iron-fisted dictators of varying degrees of ability, venality and thuggishness, and so such allegations may not raise too many eyebrows. Yet our report is not just about Central Asia; it shows how the companies worldwide can be abused by criminals, terrorists and corrupt politicians.

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As Heads of African governments gather in Washington D.C. for the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit tomorrow, there is a crucial issue that must get... more