Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kyrgyz Report: October 8, 1999

8 October 1999

The Defense Ministry announced in Bishkek on 8 October that the situation in the three southern districts (Batken, Chong-Alai and Kadamjai) was relatively calm in recent days. According to the ministry, government troops cleaned up the Raut gorge on 7 October and there was no resistance from the rebel side. The ministry believes that most of the hostages are held in the hard-to-reach mountainous part of the Kojo-Ashkan gorge in Batken district.

Also, according to the ministry, the first cargo plane with military equipment from Russia was to arrive in Osh-city in the night of 8 October. Russia sent ammunition and other military equipment by train before to assist the Kyrgyz government against the rebels.

Deputy head of the border guard directorate of the ministry, Colonel Mirbek Koilubaev told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 8 October that the formation of the new border guard services in the Batken and Leilek districts has been completed. The border guards are now deployed in these districts. Also, according to Koilubaev, local governments have begun to reconstruct roads and bridges in area. The rebels have blown up some bridges in August. Several villages that were occupied by the rebels were liberated by government troops on 4 October.

The wife of Tursunbai Bakir Uulu told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 8 October that Bakir Uulu gave her a phone call the previous day saying he would return to Bishkek on 9 or 10 October. Bakir Uulu also said that he might bring two hostages that were released by rebel leaders in one of the Islamic states. Bakir Uulu did not say from what country he called. Tursunbai Bakir Uulu is the Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights. He is also Member of Parliament and Kyrgyz Ambassador.

The representative of the state air company Kyrgyz Aba Joldoru in the United Arab Emirates, Murataly Toktobekov, told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek by phone on 8 October that Bakir Uulu arrived in the Emirates about two weeks ago and left for an unidentified country a few days ago.

Bakir Uulu called RFE/RL headquarters in Prague on 30 September and 3 October saying he was holding negotiations with rebel leaders "in one of the Islamic states". He said on 3 October that the rebel leaders had agreed to release some hostages if the Kyrgyz government troops would stop their military attacks against the rebels in Kyrgyzstan.

The rebels now hold 13 hostages: 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.

The Kyrgyz government has announced several times before that some hostages could have been moved abroad.

The other mediator between the rebels and the Kyrgyz government, Chairman of the independent Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Tursunbek Akunov, called RFE/RL headquarters in Prague on 8 October and said he was going to return to Bishkek. He has been in Pakistan since 25 September and could not meet any rebel leaders there. Also, he could not go to neighboring Afghanistan either.

According to Akunov, rebel field commander Yunus Abdrakmanov told him during their last meeting in Zardaly, Kyrgyzstan, that he could release hostages if his bosses abroad would permit it. Abdrakmanov suggested that Akunov should to Pakistan to meet rebel leaders and promised that some people would meet Akunov in Islamabad. Nobody has contacted Akunov in Pakistan since 25 September.


An official from the Yntymak foundation told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 8 October that the foundation has collected so far 87,348-som (about $2,200) in humanitarian aid for refugees in southern Kyrgyzstan. The foundation was formed last month to help refugees who were displaced due to the rebel crisis. The action continues.

Director of the State Agency on Energetics Ularbek Mateev told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 8 October that Peter Shutterly, secretary general of the European charter on energetics was in Bishkek. On the same day, he had meetings with Mateev as well as First Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev and other officials. International rules of energy transit were discussed.

An official from the Directorate on the Manas Epic Poem told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 8 October that an international conference on world epic poems would be held in Bishkek in November. According to him, an international institute for studying world epic poems would be founded at the conference and it will be based in Bishkek. The conference is organized with the help off UNESCO.

The Manas is the largest poem in the world. There are more than 500,000 lines in the single Orozbakov's version of the poem. About 65 written versions of the Manas have been written in Kyrgyzstan from different sources. The Indian poem Mahabharata contains about 400,000 lines, the Greek poem of Iliad contains about 16,000 lines, and the Odyssey poem has about 12,000 lines. The millennium of the Manas poem was celebrated in Kyrgyzstan in 1995.

Head of the directorate of the Security Ministry, Talant Razzakov, announced in Bishkek on 7 October that the government had received a letter from a rebel leader. Theletter was handed to Kyrgyz government troops in Zardaly, a village taken from rebel occupation on 4 October. According to Razzakov, the letter is addressed to the Kyrgyz military leadership, and it is suspected that Juma Namangani was the author. Razzakov declined comment on the contents of the letter.

Juma Namangani (his real name is Jumaboi Khodjiev) was born in the city of Namangan, Uzbekistan, in 1969. The Uzbek government has accused him of organizing several terrorist acts in Namangan in 1997. He is wanted by the Uzbek government, and it is suspected that Namangani is one the supreme leaders of the rebels who invaded Kyrgyzstan. The other leader is Tahir Yuldashev (born in Namangan in 1967). Namangani and Yuldashev live in some Islamic states.

Zubair ibn Abdurrakhman, who has represented himself as a spokesman for Yuldashev, sent a letter to the Kyrgyz government on 3 September, demanding for the rebels a free passage to Uzbekistan through Kyrgyz territory. According to him, the rebels have nothing against Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz people; they only want to fight the Uzbek government.

According to reports from southern Kyrgyzstan, the former Mufti of Kyrgyzstan Sadykjan Kamalov is trying to mediate between the rebels and the Kyrgyz government. He resigned in 1992 and has been the director of the International Center for Islamic Cooperation in Osh-city.

Kamalov gave a phone call to the RFE/RL bureau in Bishkek from Tajikistan on 7 October. According to him, he met that day in Dushanbe with Said Abdullo Nuri, leader of the United Tajik Opposition, and discussed the hostage crisis in Kyrgyzstan. Kamalov had met with the other Tajik opposition leader, Davlet Usmov, before. According to Kamalov, he could go to one of the Islamic states soon to meet the leaders of the rebels.

Two other Kyrgyz mediators are now trying to meet rebel leaders abroad. Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights, Ambassador and MP Tursunbai Bakir Uulu has traveled to several Islamic states since 21 September. Chairman of the independent Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Tursunbek Akunov has been in Pakistan since 25 September trying to go to Afghanistan and find rebel leaders there.

According to the presidential press service, on October 7 the head of the presidential administration Medet Sadyrkulov held in Bishkek the first meeting of the organizing committee of the Batken region. The Security Council decided on 5 October to separated three districts from the Osh region to form a new one - the Batken region. Opposition politician Mamat Aibalayev has been appointed chairman of the committee.

Parliamentary committee chairman Abdukaim Absatarov told RFE/RL correspondents in Bishkek on 7 October that the formation of the new region would require an additional 200 million soms (about $5 million) and that the draft law of the state budget for 2000 should be revised.

The People�s Assembly (upper house of parliament) will begin to consider the issue on 12 September. According to Absatarov, the Finance Ministry plans to revise the draft budget on 11September.

According to the governmental press service, a delegation led by Prime Minister Amanbeldi MurAliyev departed on 7 October to Yalta, Ukraine, to take part in a 2-day meeting of CIS prime ministers. Reforms in the CIS, financing of the collective air defense system, formation of free economic zones in the CIS, ad other issues will be discussed in Yalta on 7-8 October. Vice Prime Minister Esengul Omuraliev, Foreign Minister Muratbek Imanaliev, Finance Minister Sultan Mederov are in the delegation.

A Kyrgyz delegation led by Chairwoman of the Constitutional Court Cholpon Baekova is now in Dushanbe, taking part in celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Tajik Supreme Court and the 75th anniversary of Tajik local courts, being marked on 7 and 8 October. According to the Kyrgyz embassy in Dushanbe, President Emomali Rahmonov will receive the delegation, and the hostage crisis in Kyrgyzstan will also be discussed at the meeting.

According to the parliamentary press service, a Kyrgyz delegation led by Vice Speaker of the People�s Assembly Isa Tokoev will take part in the 102nd conference of the international inter-parliamentary assembly to be held in Berlin on 10-16 October. Tokoev will inform the participants on the current situation in southern Kyrgyzstan. The other member of the delegation, Gany Asanaliev, will make a report on diplomacy of the Great Silk Road.

According to the governmental press service, the Kyrgyz government and the UN Development Program office in Bishkek signed on 7 October an agreement on two new projects: on population and reproduction problems in the country. The UNDP will allot $5 million for the projects.

An official from the Batken district administration told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek by phone on 6 October that there are now 3,379 refugees in the town of Batken. Most of them are from the villages of Zardaly, Korgon and Kojo-Ashkanm, but they are afraid to return home in spite of Zardaly and Korgon having been liberated.

A round table discussion was held in Bishkek on 6 Octobert on the current situation in the southern regions. Members of Kyrgyz parliament, representatives of international organizations based in Bishkek, and local experts took part in the roundtable. MP Rahat Achylova told the meeting she supports the decision on forming a new region, but that there would a lot of difficulties. MP Dosbol Nur Uulu said that not all members of Kyrgyz parliament support the decision.

Moscow based Kommersant-Daily writes in its 6 October issue that five L-39 warplanes made in the Czech Republic took part in the air attacks against the rebels in Kyrgyzstan on 4 October. According to the paper, NATO allowed Kyrgyzstan to receive the planes from the Czech Republic.

A two-day conference on the fight against drug traffic through the territories of the Central Asian states ended in the resort town of Cholpon-Ata on 6 October. The participants signed a document on strengthening cooperation in the fight against drug smuggling. However, it was decided at the conference that the UN regional anti-drug center The Osh Knot would be closed.

This was the second meeting of the foreign ministries of Central Asian states which signed in Tashkent in 1996 a memorandum on combatting drug traffic. UN Assistant Secretary-General Pino Arlacchi, First Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev of Kyrgyzstan, representatives of the foreign ministers of the all 5 Central Asian states, as well as Russia and the international Agha-Khan Foundations took part.

An official from the Adilet party told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 6 October that the party was registered with the Ministry of Justice on 22 September. The founding conference of the party was held on 17 September. According to the official, there are 33,000 members in the party now.

Heads of state administrations of regions, districts and cities are leaders of the party. Its chairman is former finance minister Marat Sultanov. It had been announced before that the party was being formed to support President Askar Akayev.