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Kyrgyz PM Sets Deadline For Meeting Protesters' Demands

Bishkek Mayor Isa Omurkulov
Bishkek Mayor Isa Omurkulov
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev has given local officials two days to solve the problems faced by residents in a part of the capital who have been protesting over their settlement's lack of amenities, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The deadline comes after about 200 residents of the settlement known as Ak-Jar blocked a highway in northern Bishkek on August 8 to demand the provision of basic amenities and their legal registration as residents.

Government press secretary Kadyr Toktogulov told RFE/RL that Atambaev officially reprimanded Bishkek Mayor Isa Omurkulov and Aibek Azyrankulov, the governor of the Chui District that lies just north of Bishkek, for "neglecting the needs of local residents."

The protesters have been living for several years in homes that they built without obtaining official permission on land that they do not own.

They are not officially registered as living in Bishkek, and their settlement has no electricity, running water, or sewerage.

The protesters say that because they are not officially registered as residents, their children cannot attend nearby schools.

Bishkek Mayor Omurkulov met with the protesters early on August 9 and promised that the settlement will be legally designated as part of the Bishkek municipality.

Read more in Kyrgyz here