Kyrgyzstan’s Jeenbekov vows to maintain unity as political crisis looms large


President Jeenbekov addressing the parliament (Khabar)

President Jeenbekov addressing the parliament (Kabar)

Bishkek: Kyrgyzstan seemed to be inexorably descending into a grave political crisis after attempts to contain the consequences of a failed raid in Koi-Tash village to capture the former president.

One officer was killed and others were injured during the “special operation to detain former President Almazbek Atambayev by special forces of the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic.”

The standoff between ex-leader Almazbek Atambayev and his protege-turned-foe President Sooronbai Jeenbekov has roiled the Central Asian state and culminated in June when parliament stripped Atambayev of his immunity.

The General Prosecutor Office said that the operation to hold Atambayev was due to his refusal to appear as a witness in the case despite being summoned three times.

“Within the framework of pre-trial proceedings on the fact of involvement of Kyrgyzstan’s Former President Almazbek Atambayev in the illegal release of kingpin Aziz Batukayev, Atambayev was summoned for questioning three times as a witness in the Kyrgyz Ministry of Internal Affairs, but the legitimate demands of the investigation bodies were ignored,” the Office said in a statement carried by the national news agency Kabar

“In this connection, the investigator issued a resolution on the forced detention of Atambayev, the execution of which was entrusted to the staff of the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic.”

In order to carry out the task, officers left for the village of Koi-Tash, where Atambayev’s house is located, but his supporters resisted the authorities with the use of weapons and other items, the news agency said.

“In addition, mass riots involving the use of violence were organized in order to obstruct the investigation… As a result of clashes, 47 persons with various injuries were hospitalized in Chui and Bishkek territorial hospitals, 22 of whom are employees of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan, and two are employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, while the remaining 23 are civilians. One employee of the State Committee for National Security died from a gunshot wound.”

The killed officer was identified as Usen Niyazbekov, 46, the deputy head of the Alpha special unit of the State Committee for National Security.

At the emergency session held by the parliament on Thursday, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov called on the people not to give in to provocation and not to panic.

“We will not allow the separation of the people and the creation of an unstable situation,” he said.

From the operation to detain Former President Atambayev (Khabar)

From the operation to detain Former President Atambayev (Kabar)

Jeenbekov said all measures would be taken to preserve the rule of law, peace and security in the country.

“Operational measures will be taken. Today I held an extraordinary meeting of the Security Council of the country. Decisions have been taken on the current situation in the village of Koi-Tash, Chui Oblast. We will not allow the separation of the people and the creating of an unstable situation. The state has the strength and means to do so,” the president said, quoted by Kabar.

He charged that ex-President Atambayev “grossly violated the Constitution and laws, severely resisting the investigation.”

“In the course of the special operation, despite the statement of the former President’s supporters that the government surrendered, it was decided not to organize the dispatch of law enforcement agencies. Such a decision was made in order to maintain stability and avoid destabilization of the situation in the country. We will not allow to destabilize the situation in the country and divide the people; we have enough political will to do so,” Jeenbekov said.

Atambayev’s supporters maintain that the charges against him were politically motivated.

The president stressed that “if before Atambayev was invited to the investigation as a witness, now he appears in the status of a suspect in particularly serious crimes.”

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