19 October 1999
JAPANESE HOSTAGES STILL IN CAPTIVITY.
Ambassador Tursunbai Bakir Uulu held a news conference in Bishkek on 19 October. Lieutenant-Colonel Jolchubai Jeenbaev, who was released by the rebels on 18 October, and Nuritdin Temirov, aide to Bakir Uulu, attended the news conference.
Bakir Uulu said that the rebels had asked him to be a mediator between them and the Japanese government in holding talks on the release of the Japanese hostages. He contacted the Japanese ambassador to Kyrgyzstan last week, but has not received any answer yet. According to him, the rebels promised to release all the hostages, but there are now some unforeseen obstacles.
According to the Agance France Press and Itar-Tass reports, in the morning of 19 Octoberl, the Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono ruled out paying a ransom for the release of the four Japanese geologists. Kono told a news conference in Tokyo that "it is clear" that Japan would reject ransom payments.
Kyrgyz governmental officials announced in Bishkek on 18 Octobery that no ransom had been paid for the release of the hostages. Bakir Uulu had held long and difficult talks with the rebels, and released 7 Kyrgyz hostages on 12 and 18 October. According to him, he will continue his mission and will try to release the Japanese geologists too.
There are now 5 people in captivity: the Japanese geologists Toshiaki ARII, Hirotaro FIJII, Haruo HARADA, Nobuhisha NAKAJIMA, and their Kyrgyz interpreter Omurbek JANAKEEV, They were taken hostage in Batken district of Kyrgyzstan on 22 August.
TAJIK OPPOSITION HELPED TO RELEASE HOSTAGES.
Nuritdin Temirov, who has represented himself as a voluntary aide to Kyrgyz Ambassador Tursunbai Bakir Uulu, told a news conference in Bishkek on 19 October that Colonel Shoh Iskandarov, representative of the United Tajik Opposition, had helped Bakir Uulu to release Kyrgyz General Anarbek Shamkev. According to Temirov, Iskandarov had contacted the rebels personally and played a key role in the release of the Kyrgyz hostages. Iskandarov delivered the two hostages (General Shamkeev and Lieutenant-Colonel Jeenbaev) to Kyrgyzstan on 18 October and handed them over to Deputy Minister of National Security Valeri Verchagin. Temirov added that Iskandarov is continuing his activities on the release of the Japanese hostages and the Kyrgyz interpreter.
NEW MEDIATOR BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND REBELS.
Member of Parliament Baiaman Erkinbaev told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 19 October that he is holding his own talks with the rebels on the release of the Japanese hostages. He did not give any details but said that paying ransom is not a method.
Erkinbaev is the fourth mediator. So far, Chairman of the independent Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Tursunbek Akunov, Ambassador Tursunbai Bakir Uulu and the former Mufti of Kyrgyzsan Sadykjan Kamalov have played the role of mediator between the Kyrgyz government and the rebels, Bakir Uulu as member of parliament and chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights.
EBRD REPRESENTATIVE IN KYRGYZSTAN.
According to the government press service, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Developments official Michael Devy, who is responsible for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, was received in Bishkek on 19 October by Prime Minister Amangeldi Muraliev. He arrived in Bishkek on 17 October. Cooperation between the EBRD and Kyrgyzstan was discussed during the meeting.
27-th POLITICAL PARTY REGISTERED IN KYRGYZSTAN.
Deputy chairman of the Republican Party Narkas Mulladjanov told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 19 October that the party has been registered with the Ministry of Justice. The founding conference was held in Bishkek on 18 September. The initiator is editor-in-chief of the opposition Res Publica weekly, Zamira Sydykova. Chairman of the party is Giyaz Tokombaev.
THREE MORE SERVICEMEN KILLED DURING THE CRISIS.
General Januzakov announced in Bishkek on 18 October that an additional 3 Kyrgyz servicemen have been killed during the rebel-crisis since 22 August. He said these people died during in differenc circumstances, but not during clashes with the rebels.
Sources in the Defense Ministry say Private Tokotonazar Sydykov was shot dead by his supervisor warrant officer by mistake. In total 24 Kyrgyz citizens have been killed during the crisis since 22 August: 17 servicemen were killed during clashes with rebels, 3 servicemen were killed in other circumstances. One policeman and three civilians (including a child) were killed during the bombardment of Karamyk village by Uzbek warplanes on 29 August.
NO MORE REBELS ON KYRGYZ TERRITORY.
According to the Defense Ministry, Minister Esen Topoev reported to President Askar Akayev on 18 October that there are no rebels on Kyrgyz territory now. General Topoev visited the southern regions on 17 October. According to him, all the rebels have moved to the Jergetal region of neighboring Tajikistan.
According the local authorities, there are now 915 refugees left in the camps near the town of Batken.
LOCAL ELECTIONS IN KYRGYZSTAN.
Public elections to the village, district and town assemblies were held in Kyrgyzstan on 17 October. According to the Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Sulaiman Imanbaev, turnout was 66.4 percent on average. Highest turnout was registered in the Osh region at 78.6 percent; while the lowest one was n the capital city of Bishkek at 38.3 percent. The elections been declared valid. The results will be announced later. 11,652 candidates were contending for 6,711 seats in the different level assemblies.
PRESIDENT AKAYEV TO ATTEND CIS SUMMIT.
The presidential press service announced in Bishkek on 18 October that President Askar Akayev will take part in the CIS summit meeting to be held in Moscow on 26 October. Prime ministers of the CIS countries will also hold a meeting in Moscow a day before, on 25 October.
KYRGYZ TEAM WINS KICKBOXING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.
The 12th World Championship on Kickboxing was held in Bishkek on 13-17 October. Kyrgyz team has won 1st place. Russians were second and the Kazakh team won 3rd place.
TALKS ON HOSTAGE RELEASE CONTINUE.
MP and Ambassador Tursunbai Bakir Uulu told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 16 October that all the hostages should be released soon. According to him, he had agreed on this with Tahir Yuldashev, leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, rebels of which invaded Kyrgyzstan late in August and took hostages. Bakir Uulu was heading to the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to personally attend proceedings for the release of the hostages. Bakir Uulu is Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights and had liberated 5 hostages before. He brought them to the Kyrgyz village of Karamyk on 12 October.
REFUGEES ARE RETURNING HOME.
According to local authorities, there were about 2,000 refugees left in the camps near the village of Batken by October 17. 348 refugees returned home (in the villages of Sary-Talaa, Kan, Palal-Ooz, Tunuk-Sai on 15 and 16 October). Authorities say the refugees received a 5.7-million-soms in humanitarian aid from Armenia and Kazakhstan (about $140,000).
PRESIDENT AKAYEV IN TOKTOGUL.
According to the presidential press service, President Akayev and Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev visited the Jalal-Abad region on 16 October and attended the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Toktogul hydro-power station. The previous week, the president signed a special decree on rewarding the best workers of the station with state awards.