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Kyrgyz Report: October 1, 1999

1 October 1999

Secretary of the Security Council General Bolot Januzakov held a news conference in Bishkek on 1 October. He visited the southern regions of the country on 30 September. According to Januzakov, Kyrgyz government troops are gaining control in more and more areas in the south. For example, the village of Raut, which had been occupied by the rebels before, was taken into governmental control on 30 September. Also on that same day government troops took control of the Guamysh pass at an altitude of 4,000 meters. Januzakov also said a new rebel was detained in Batken district on 29 September and is now being interrogated.

Several hundred rebels entered Kyrgyzstan on 22 August and had taken hostages, occupying several mountainous villages in southern part the Batken district. Some hostages have been released and there are 13 people in the hands of the rebels now. Also, 200 to 300 villagers are left in the occupied villages.

Kyrgyz government troops and some called up reservists were deployed in southern Kyrgyzstan late in August. They had been trained for a month and have now started cleaning up the region of rebels. Kyrgyzstan has received technical and military equipment from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan. Also, the Uzbek air force and some military troops have been gathering along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek state border ready to help Kyrgyz troops. Usbek warplanes bombed Kyrgyz territories twice, on 15 and 29 August, mistakengly killing four Kyrgyz citizens.

General Bolot Januzakov announced in Bishkek on 1 October that two Kyrgyz representatives of the so-called people�s diplomacy are in Afghanistan now trying to hold talks on the hostage release with forces who could be behind the rebels who invaded of Kyrgyzstan. The two are Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights, Member of Parliament and Ambassador Tursunbai Bakir Uulu and Chairman of the independent Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Tursunbek Akunov.

Bakir Uulu gave a phone call to RFE/RL headquarters in Prague in the evening of September 30 saying that the problem should be resolved through negotiations only without military action. According to him, the rebels have nothing against Kyrgyzstan or any of the Kyrgyz people and they want to fight the Uzbek government, which is persecuting Muslims in Uzbekistan.

Bakir Uulu departed to Saudi Arabia on 21 September and also visited the United Arab Emirates since holding talks on humanitarian aid to hostages in Kyrgyzstan. According to the Russian Itar-Tass agency, the Taliban government of Afghanistan has announced it had known nothing about the rebels in Kyrgyzstan.

Akunov visited voluntaryly the rebel bases in southern Kyrgyzstan several times in August and September and delivered messages on holding negotiations with the Kyrgyz government in Bishkek. He also brought from the Kyrgyz general and four Japanese geologists who had been taken hostage letters that they are alive. The Kyrgyz government has announced it would not hold any official talks with the rebels. However, it supports the Akunov mission. Akunov left Bishkek for Pakistan on 25 September and has met there with some people.

21 Kyrgyz citizens have been killed since the rebel crisis began in the country on 22 August. 17 of them were killed in different clashes. They are:

1. Rustam YUNUSOV, sergeant, killed on 23 August.

2. Tajybai TAILAKOV, local authority, killed on 23 August. 3. Janysh EGEMBERDIEV, a reservist, killed on 7 September. 4. Melis TOROBEKOV, warrant officer, killed on 17 September. 5. Daniyar NAMAZBEKOV, master-sergeant, 17 September, 6. Kushtarbek SAMATOV, sergeant, 17 September. 7. Taiyrbek ARKABAEV, private soldier, 17 September. 8. Zamirbek KOCHORBAEV, private, 17 September. 9. Abdrasul RAKHMATULLAEV, private, 17 September. 10. Alijan DOOMINOV, private, 17 September. 11. Sagyn BEKBALAEV, lieutenant colonel, killed on 19 September. 12. Ulugbek BEISHEBAEV, mayor, 19 September. 13. Vladimir GOLUBEV, lieutenant, 19 September. 14. Kursan SAIPIDINOV, warrant officer, 19 September. 15. Erjan MAMYRJANOV, sergeant, 19 September. 16. Daniyar BURKHANOV, lieutenant, 19 September. 17. Dmitry MAKAROV, private, 19 September. Four other Kyrgyz citizens, including a child, were killed under the bombs during the bombardment of the Kara-Teyit village in Chong-Alai district by Uzbek warplanes on 29 September. They are:

18. Shahobitdin MOLLAJANOV, police lieutenant,

19. Karamatjan SULAIMANOVA, a villager,

20. Urmatjan Abdulaziz Kyzy SULAIMANOVA, her 5-year-old daughter, 21. Altymysh TAGAEV, a villager. There are now 13 hostages being held by the rebels. They are:

1. Anarbek SHAMKEEV, Kyrgyz general and commander of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry's forces,

2. Kasym SHADYBEKOV, sergeant, Shamkeev's aide,

3. Maksat NASIEV, private, Shamkeev's guard,

4. Toshiaki ARII, Japanese geologist,

5. Hirotaro FIJII, Japanese geologist,

6. Haruo HARADA, Japanese geologist,

7. Nobuhisha NAKAJIMA, Japanese geologist,

8. Omurbek JANAKEEV, their Kyrgyz interpreter,

9. Jolchu JEENBAEV, police lieutenant-colonel,

10. Janybai KADYROV, police lieutenant,

11. Taalaibek KALBERDIEV, police lieutenant,

12. Kubanych AMATJAKYPOV, police warrant officer,

13. Talantbek NARMATOV, police master sergeant.

Acording to General Januzakov, the hostages are held at the Shiber and Chat places near the village of Kojo-Ashkan of Batken district.

According to the presidential press service, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, the current chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, met in Bishkek on 1 October with President Askar Akayev. Later, he met with the two parliamentary speakers Andygany Erkebaev (the People's Assembly) and Usup Mukambaev (the Legislative Assembly). Political and economic reforms in Kyrgyzstan, forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, and the situation in southern regions were discussed. Vollebaek arrived in Bishkek yesterday on 3-day visit. He will meet leaders of non-governmental organizations too.

Vice Prime Minister Esengul OmurAliyev told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 1 October that he had held negotiations with Uzbek authorities in Tashkent on uninterrupted gas deliveries to Kyrgyzstan. However, he rejected to say what had been agreed upon in Tashkent. According to him, a special meeting of the Kyrgyz-Uzbek inter-governmental commission will discuss the issue in Bishkek late in October. Kyrgyzstan owes Uzbekistan several million US dollars for gas deliveries and has not received gas from Uzbekistan since last February.

An official from the Asaba party told RFE/RL correspondent on 1 October that they had handed a protest letter to the Russian embassy in Bishkek. The letter was signed by the Asaba party and the "Akyl-Es, Rukh, Yiman" religious organization. They protested the bombardments which have led to death of hundreds of civilians in Chechnya.

According to the governmental press service, First Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev and UN Development Program representative in Kyrgyzstan Anne Sharneklint signed in Bishkek on 1 October a protocol on launching a new social project. It is on social help to the poorest people of Kyrgzystan and to non-governmental organizations. The 240,000-dollar project will be financed through the UNDP by the Swedish government. It is the third social project in Kyrgyzstan financed by Sweden.

According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev will attend the opening ceremony of the Third Central Asian Games in Bishkek on 2 October. About 1,500 sportsmen from the all five Central Asian states will compete in 13 kinds of sport. The games will last till 7 October. The previous games were held in Tashkent and Almaty.

The Defense Ministry announced in Bishkek on 29 September that 9 people were arrested at the Doedoe pass in Batken district the previous night. One of them had a Kalashnikov. Investigations are under way. The detainees say they are local residents and had a weapon to protect them. The Dodoe pass is 3 kilometers from the Tajik Vorukh district.

An official of the Ministry of Emergencies announced in Batken on 29 September that the number of refugees in southern Kyrgyzstan is decreasing. They are returning home or to their relatives in neighboring villages. There are now 3,415 refugees in Batken and 210 refugees in the town of Khaidarken in the neighboring Kadamjai district.

The governmental press service announced in Bishkek on 29 September that Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev would take part in a meeting of CIS prime ministers to be held in Kyiv on 8 October. He had planned to go to Japan early in October to take part in a meeting of the Kyrgyz-Japanese inter-governmental commission, but the meeting is postponed at the request of the Kyrgyz side.

The law draft on amendments to the Law on Pension and Social Guarantees prepared by the government passed in the parliamentary Legislative Assembly on 29 September. 23 out of the nominal 35 members of the Assembly voted in favor of it. However, deputies Adaham Madumarov, Alevtina Pronenko, Daniyar Usenov and Jypar Jeksheev left the room before the voting took place in protest over the government draft.a voting.

Pronenko told RFE/RL correspondent after the meeting that according to the new draft, the basic pension rate could not be raised in Kyrgyzstan until 2005. Also, pensions could be changed in the country only according to changes of the average salary, not according to inflation or changes of the minimal subsidiary level. The basic pension rate is equal to 12 percent of an average salary, which is 957 soms per month (about $23) now. The official minimal subsidiary level is 1,123 soms per month.

According to the parliamentary press service, three Kyrgyz deputies will take part in the 6th general meeting of the Asian Parliamentary Forum to be held in Japan on 4-10 October. They are Jamgyrbek Bokoshev, Dooronbek Sadyrbaev and Mukambek Alykulov.