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Kyrgyz Report: September 17, 1999

17 September 1999

According to local authorities, a villager was killed in Chong-Alai district the night of 15 September. When Altymysh Tagaev, 49 was attempted to be stopped by a government guard, he began to run away and was shot dead. Neither weapon nor any other compromising item were found on him.

Eight people have been killed in southern Kyrgyzstan since 22 August when rebels invaded of the country for the second time this year. A guard and a local official (Tajybai Tailakov) were killed during the first rebel attack. Four residents of the Kara-Teyit village were killed during the bombardment by Uzbek warplanes on 29 August. Reservist Mamasadyr Egemberdiev was killed during fire exchange on 8 September. And Altymysh Tagaev has now been shot dead by a government soldier.

The Kyrgyz Defense Ministry announced in Bishkek on 16 September that Minister Esen Topoev is taking part in an urgent meeting of the CIS defense ministers, which began in Moscow that day. Deputy Foreign Minister Asanbek OsmonAliyev is participating too. There are two items in the agenda of the meeting: improving the collective defense system of the CIS and the current situation in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Chairman of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Tursunbek Akunov, current mediator between the government and the rebels, told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 16 September that he plans to return to the mountainous rebel base in a few days to continue talks with them. According to him, rebel leader Yunus Abdrakmanov told him during his last visit to the rebels on 13-14 September that he Akunov should meet with Abdrakmanov�s leaders to discuss the possible release of the hostages. Abdrakmanov said it would take 3 to 7 days by foot to get to the base of his commanders.� Also, Abdrakmanov promised not to demand a ransom for the hostage release.

Akunov believes that Abdrakmanov�s commanders are somewhere in mountains either on Kyrgyz or Tajik territory, not in Afghanistan or Pakistan as some media have reported. He said also that he had not heard anything about support by Osama bin Laden to the rebels in Kyrgyzstan.

Akunov says he met in Bishkek on 15 September with the Minister of National Security,Misir Ashyrkulov and informed him on the last talks with the rebels. It is expected that President Askar Akayev would receive him soon. Akayev returned from Germany on 15 September. Akunov said both the rebels and Kyrgyz government did not trust him first, but now he has full governmental support in holding �people�s diplomacy�.

There are 13 hostages now in the hands of the rebels: Kyrgyz General Anarbek Shamkeev, his aide, his guard, four Japanese geologists (Nobuhisha Nakajima, Hirotaro Fijii, Haruo Harada and Toshiaki Ariie), their interpreter and five Kyrgyz policemen. Akunov visited their base late in August to early in September, spending more than two weeks with them. Last week, he delivered a message to the Kyrgyz government on holding negotiations from the rebels. to On 13 September, he met with the rebels again and returned in Bishkek on 14 September.

Chairman of the Ar-Namys party and former vice president of Kyrgyzstan, Felix Kulov arrived in Batken on 16 September bringing humanitarian aid to the refugees. According to his aides, they have brought 200,000-soms (about $5,000) in clothing, food and medication and 30,000-soms worth of equipment for blood transfusions. Kulov met with local authorities and refugees in the towns of Batken and Dara village on 16 September. He announced that the Ministry of National Security was responsible for the crisis.

According to local authorities, new refugees have come to Batken from the villages of Zardaly, Korgon and Kojo-Ashkan which are occupied by the rebels. There are now 3,090 refugees in Batken. According to the refugees, the rebels have started to loot local residents.

According to local authorities in Batken district, rebel Vagiz Jaganov has promised to help government troops locate rebels bases in the mountains. He was delivered from Osh to Bishkek on 15 September.

Jaanov was detained near the village of Zardaly in the Batken district during the night of 11 to 12 September. He had been severely wounded and had to have surgerya surgery in a hospital in the town of Batken. Jaganov was born in Samarkand region of Uzbekistan in 1981. The other rebel was detained in Chong-Alai district on 14 September. According to him, he was forced to join the rebels in the Samarkand region of Uzbekistan last July and had been trained at the military base of Hait in Tajikistan. He is an ethnic Uzbek too and was born in Namangan.

Presidential spokesperson Gulnara Myrzahmetova told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 16 September that a correspondent for a German paper misunderstood an answer by President Askar Akayev on his possible candidacy for president in 2000. According to her, Akayev has not yet decided whether he would take part in the next presidential elections.

The Berlin based Der Tagesspiegel wrote on 15 September that Akayev wants to return to his former career as a scientist when his second presidential term ends next year. The correspondent met with Akayev late in the evening of 14 September, just before the Kyrgyz delegation�s departure.

The current Kyrgyz constitution forbids a third term for the president. Akayev was elected by parliament on 27 October 1990 as president of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialistic Republic. On 12 October 1991, he won a nationwide elections, becoming president of independent Kyrgyzstan with a 5-year term. He held a controversial early election on 24 December 1995 and won a 5-year term. The Constitutional Court of Kyrgyzstan ruled on 13 July 1998 that Akayev has the right to take part in the next presidential election set for 2000. According to the Court, Akayev has been elected president only once, in 1995, since the new constitution was adopted in May 1993.

According to the governmental press service, Vice Prime Minister Esengul OmurAliyev will go to Tashkent on 20 September to talk on economiccooperation between the two states. Natural gas deliveries from Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan will also be discussed. Kyrgyzstan has not received natural gas from Uzbekistan since last February due to his debt of about $5 million for previous deliveries.

The heating and power station in Bishkek receives some gas from Uzbekistan according to the agreement on the joint use of hydro power in Central Asia, and this gas has been distributed among the residents of Bishkek city. But the volume of these deliveries has been decreased recently from 40,000 cubic meters per hour to 12,000 cubic meters.

Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev held a government meeting in Bishkek on 16 September. According to the governmentpress service, the meeting was devoted to export problems. It was announced at the meeting that the turnover of exports would reach $610 million in 1999. In the first 7 months of 1999, the export was $259.7 million compared with the import of $312.1 million.

Chairman of the Kyrgyz Committee to Protect Muslims, Bahtiyar Ahmedov announced in Bishkek on 15 September that the Committee has has never had any books calling for an Islamic jihad in Central Asia. According to Ahmedov, his committee has received 3,400 copies of the book "Celebrating Ramadan" by Muhammad Sadyk, former Mufti of Central Asia. The book had been printed in Turkey.

The Piramida private TV station aired in Bishkek earlier this week a documentary shot in neighboring Uzbekistan. It is about the last terrorist acts in Tashkent and their organizers. One of the people convicted of terrorism says in the film that thousands of books calling for a jihad had been delivered from Turkey to the Kyrgyz Committee to Protect Muslims and one of the books was by Mohammad Solih, Uzbek opposition leader in exile.

The same documentary was aired by the Moscow based TV-6 station on 9 August. The Russian Express-Chronicle weekly wrote on 6 September that the documentary was a part of President Islam Karimov�s propaganda.

According to the governmental press service, a delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development arrived in Bishkek on 15 September and met on the same day with Prime Minister Amangeldi Muraliev. Implementation of projects financed by the EBRD was discussed. They will meet with acting chairman of the National Bank Ulan Sarbanov and Director of the Committee on Foreign Investments Urkalyi Isaev too.