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Kyrgyz Security Chief, Deputy Dismissed Amid Presidents' Feud

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov
Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov has dismissed two senior security officials seen as close allies of his predecessor, Almazbek Atambaev, amid tensions between politicians six months after the election.

Jeenbekov signed decrees on April 7 dismissing Abdil Segizbaev, the hard-line head of the State Committee for National Security, and deputy security chief Bolot Suiumbaev, who was also the director of the committee’s Service for Analysis and Prognoses of Risks for National Security.

The documents on the president's website said both men submitted their resignations.

Their exit follows growing signs of tension between Jeenbekov and Atambaev, who strongly backed his former prime minister in the October 2017 presidential vote but has criticized him in recent weeks.

Atambaev had kept a low profile since leaving office in November. But following his election as head of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) on March 31, he’s publicly criticized Jeenbekov on several occasions.

Following that criticism, Jeenbekov has fired or accepted the resignations of a string of government and administration officials who are seen as loyal to Atambaev.

Segizbaev has long been criticized for a crackdown on opposition politicians and independent journalists.

Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev
Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev

In 2016, Segizbaev was embroiled in a political scandal after he publicly presented documents allegedly confirming that several high-profile lawmakers from the opposition Ata-Meken party were involved in shady business activities.

However, the authenticity of the documents has not been verified in subsequent probes.

The document targeted Ata-Meken leader Omurbek Tekebaev, former General Prosecutor Aida Salyanova, and ex-Justice Minister Almambet Shykmamatov.

The three politicians, who are staunch opponents of Atambaev, have since faced criminal charges that they say are politically motivated.

Tekebaev has been sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges, while Salyanova was given a suspended five-year sentence in a separate case.

Shikmamatov was accused of fraud.

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