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Kyrgyz Report: September 7, 1999


7 September 1999

KYRGYZ LEADERSHIP RULES OUT NEGOTIATIONS WITH REBELS.
The newly appointed Secretary of the Security Council, General Bolot Januzakov, announced in Bishkek on7 September that there will be no negotiations on behalf of the Kyrgyz government with the ethnic Uzbek guerrillas in southern Kyrgyzstan. However, he did not exclude some low-level negotiations could be held, and some members of the government could take part in them. These negotiations would be unofficial and their participants would represent themselves as citizens only, not as government officials.

The presidential press service announced in Bishkek on 7 September that the Chairman of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan, Tursunbek Akunov, had delivered an offer by the rebels to hold negotiations. He brought two letters from the rebels which he handed over to Kyrgyz authorities in the town of Batken the night of 6 September. According to him, if the government agrees, two representatives of the rebels will come for negotiations. The rebels offer the three places to hold the negotiations: 1) town of Batken, 2) village of Zardaly, 3) Jergetal region of neighboring Tajikistan. The Kyrgyz government should respond to that offer by 8 September.

The other letter was written by the four Japanese geologists (Nobuhisha Nakajima, Hirotaro Fijii, Haruo Harada and Toshiaki Ariie), taken hostage in Batken district on 22 August. They informed the Kyrgyz government they are alive and asked to take all possible measures to release them.

Akunov came to Batken from the rebel stronghold accompanied by two other mediators: Suiunbek Urkunchiev, leader of a youRL correspondent in Batken on 6 August that there were still some rebels in the district. General Bolot Januzakov, head of the security and defense department in the presidential administration, confirmed this later in the day. It was announced on 4 September that the district had been cleared of rebels. According to Januzakov, the main task of government troops is to release hostages alive.

The Foreign Ministry of Kyrgyzstan made an official statement on 6 September, according to which Kyrgyzstan will take all necessary measures to clean up Kyrgyz territory from international terrorists. All civil services in the Osh region - airports, railroad stations, industrial enterprises etc. are working as usual. Also, Kyrgyzstan thanks international organizations, including the UN, OSCE, Islamic Conference and others, as well as foreign countries, for the political support they have given Kyrgyzstan.

REBELS TRY TO WIN OVER PEOPLE TO THEIR SIDE.
Suiunbek Urkunchiev, leader of a youth organization and member of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan (HRMK), gave an interview to RFE/RL correspondent in Batken last weekend. According to him, the rebels are trying to win over the local people to their sidel support. However, Moscow has said no Russian troops would be sent to Kyrgyzstan. Russian border guards had guarded the Kyrgyz-Chinese frontiers until mid August 1999.

GENERAL SITUATION IN SOUTHERN KYRGYZSTAN.
The Head of the Chong-Alai district administration, Mamarasul Toroev, told RFE/RL correspondent in Batken on 7 September there were several minor exchanges of fire between the government troops and the rebels in the district the previous night, but no casualties were reported. Adam Zakirov, deputy governor of the Osh region, says the situation in neighboring Batken district has been relatively quiet.

According to the presidential press service, head of the presidential administration Medet Sadyrkulov left Bishkek for southern Kyrgyzstan on 7 September. He will visit the Chong-Alai district first and then the Batken district. He plans to meet residents of Kara-Teyit and Karamyk villages, as well as government troops in the region. General Januzakov announced in Bishkek on 7 September that preparations for a military action against the rebels continue.

PARLIAMENT CANNOT TAKE A DECISION ON HOSTAGE CRISIS.
There was no quorum at the session of the parliamentary Legislative Assembly on 7 September and it could not take a decision on the situation in the south of the country, planned for that day. The problem has been discussed since 1 September and leaders of the all law enforcement bodies have reported to the session. A session of the other parliamentary house, the People's Assembly, will begin later this month.

MEETING OF THE CIS BORDER GUARDS.
According to the governmental press service, a meeting of representatives of the border guard services of CIS countries will be held in Bishkek on 10 September. Representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will take part. Experts from these counties have already come to Bishkek and began to prepare the meeting.

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN KYRGYZSTAN.
According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev signed a decree on 7 September appointing General Bolot Januzakov secretary of the Security Council. Januzakov replaces General Esen Topoev who was appointed late in August as defense minister. Januzakov will remain head of the defense and security department in the presidential administration.

According to the second decree, Sergei Litvinov is appointed commander of the special governmental guard service. The former commander of the service, General Joomart Boshkoev resigned last December and his duties have been implemented by Esen Topoev.

CONTRADICTORY REPORTS ON SITUATION IN SOUTH.
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The Foreign Ministry of Kyrgyzstan made an official statement on 6 September, according to which Kyrgyzstan will take all necessary measures to clean up Kyrgyz territory from international terrorists. All civil services in the Osh region - airports, railroad stations, industrial enterprises etc. are working as usual. Also, Kyrgyzstan thanks international organizations, including the UN, OSCE, Islamic Conference and others, as well as foreign countries, for the political support they have given Kyrgyzstan.

REBELS TRY TO WIN OVER PEOPLE TO THEIR SIDE.
Suiunbek Urkunchiev, leader of a youth organization and member of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan (HRMK), gave an interview to RFE/RL correspondent in Batken last weekend. According to him, the rebels are trying to win over the local people to their side. For example, they visited relatives of local official Tajybai Tailakov who was shot dead in their first attack in Batken on 22 August, and gave them money and asked forgiveness for the killing. According to them, the rebel responsible for Tailakov's death was punished. Also, according to Urkunchiev, the rebels buy food from local people, instead of looting.

MILITARY OPERATION AGAINST REBELS IS PREPARED.
Defense Ministry representative Colonel Adylbek BergenAliyev told an RFE/RL correspondent in Batken on 6 September that the formation of teams of reservists had been completed. Valeri Verchagin, Deputy Minister of National Security, confirmed this to a RFE/RL correspondent. According to him, there are enough government troops and reservist teams now in Batken to begin a military operation against the rebels.

According to Bergenaliev, about 1,500 veterans of the Afghan war and about 800 sportsmen have been mobilized from around the country and have already come to Batken. Military specialists from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan began on 6 September to plan the operation. According to local observers, there is a distance of about 180 kms between government troops and the rebel bases.

PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES THE SITUATION STILL.
The parliamentary Legislative Assembly continues to discuss behind closed doors the situation in Southern Kyrgyzstan. According to parliamentary deputy Omurbek Tekebayev, two versions of the parliamentary decision have been worked out. Adylbek Kadyrbekov, chairman of the parliamentary committee on security and defense, told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 6 September that a final decision would be taken the following day. According to him, it will be mentioned in the decision that the Defense Ministry has made mistakes dealing with rebels, that the defense and security doctrines of the country should be changed and that financing of the defense ministry should be increased.

Abdygany Erkebaev, speaker of the other parliamentary house, has returned from Batken to Bishkek. He visited the village of Kara-Teyit, mistakenly bombed by the Uzbek warplanes on 29 August. According to Erkebaev, representatives of the Defense Ministry in Batken told him that damage from the bombardment is about 8 million soms (about $200,000). Four civilians were killed and 16 injured.

PRESIDENT AKAYEV TO GERMANY.
Presidential spokesman Kanybek ImanAliyev announced in Bishek on 6 September that President Askar Akayev will pay an official visit to Germany on 10-14 September. He will meet President Johannes Rau, Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder, and other officials to discuss bilateral relations. The visit has been shortened by two days due to the hostage crisis in Kyrgyzstan.

SEMINAR ON HUMAN RIGHTS.
An international seminar on human rights began in Bishkek on 6 September. The seminar is organized by the OSCE office in Bishkek. International experts, members of Kyrgyz parliament, and representatives of non-governmental organizations are taking part in it.

GOVERNMENT MEETING ON PREPARING FOR THE WINTER.
According to the governmental press service, Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev held a government meeting on 6 September on the situation in the Bishkek heating and power plant. Deputy Prime Minister Esengul Omuraliev, Director General of the Kyrgyzenergo state energetics company and leadership of the plant attended. It was announced at the meeting that there are about 370,000 tons of coal at the plant now, but about 600,000 tons are needed for the winter.

MORE THAN 6,000 REFUGEES IN OSH REGION.
The governmental press service announced in Bishkek on 4 September that there are now 6,021 refugees in the Osh region. 3,394 of them are in the Batken district, 2,410 in Chong-Alai district and 217 in Kadamjai district. They are residents of villages close to those occupied by the rebels. The Ministry of Emergencies has delivered to Osh region about 300 tents and 30 tons of food for the refugees.

GAS SUPPLY FROM UZBEKISTAN COULD BE INTERRUPTED.
The Kyrgyzgas state gas company announced in Bishkek on 4 September that the volume of natural gas delivery from Uzbekistan has been reduced sharply. Bishkek now receives 25,000 cubic meters of gas per hour instead of the previous 45,000. Kyrgyzstan owes Uzbekistan more than $3 million for gas supplies.

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