Kyrgyzstan: new clashes, the country is sinking into crisis

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At least five people were injured in violence between rival protesters in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, as the political crisis continues to worsen in the central Asian country.

• Read also: Kyrgyzstan: one dead in the clashes, the president says he controls the country

Head of state Soroonbai Jeenbekov, invisible for four days, signed a decree imposing a state of emergency in the capital, but nothing says that it will be applied, several political clans having taken control of various government agencies .

On Friday evening, however, witnesses reported seeing military vehicles driving through Bishkek.

Kyrgyzstan has been plunged into a political storm since the outbreak of a protest movement against fraud in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, won by two parties close to Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Opposing political groups, opposed to the president, are now competing for power.

Kyrgyzstan: new clashes, the country is sinking into crisis

“Live ammunition”

On Friday, clashes between activists broke out in the center of Bishkek, on the sidelines of a demonstration organized by an opposition group representing several parties.

The health ministry told AFP that at least five people were injured, including a prominent young politician, Tilek Toktagaziyev, who was hit by stones.

In a video posted on social media, former President Almazbek Atambayev said his car was targeted by gunfire during the clashes, while his supporters also staged a protest during the day.

“The former president’s car was hit by live ammunition,” Koundouz Joldoubaïeva told AFP.

Former mentor of President Jeenbekov, who has become his great rival, Almazbek Atambayev was released from prison on Monday during a night of riots. He was serving an eleven-year prison sentence for having released a mafia boss from prison and was awaiting a second trial for his role in the armed resistance to his arrest.

His attackers could be activists supporting nationalist Sadyr Japarov, who was appointed prime minister on Tuesday under murky conditions.

He was also released Monday from prison, after being sentenced in 2017 to 11 and a half years in prison for taking hostages during a previous political crisis.

Kyrgyzstan: new clashes, the country is sinking into crisis

Kyrgyzstan: new clashes, the country is sinking into crisis

“Ready” to resign

President Soroonbai Zheenbekov, who has not appeared in public since Monday, announced early Friday morning that he was “ready” to leave his post “when legitimate authorities have been approved and we are back on track. legality ”.

The resignation could come after changes are made in the government and a date set for new elections, the presidency said in a statement.

The first condition was fulfilled, Mr. Jeenbekov, having signed a decree dismissing the government.

The clashes, including violent clashes between demonstrators and police on Monday, left one dead and more than a thousand injured. This crisis raises fears of an outbreak of violence in Kyrgyzstan, considered an island of pluralism in a region where authoritarian regimes are the rule.

On Friday, another demonstration was organized in Bishkek against organized crime, which plagues politics in the eyes of many Kirghiz.

The day before, personalities of opposition parties claimed to control the prosecutor’s office or the Ministry of the Interior. No police presence was visible in front of the main government buildings.

The powerful security services (GKNB), for their part, urged the political class to restore order and Russia, the regional power, recognized the authority of the man who took control of the GKNB through of the chaos of the last days, Omourbek Souvanaliev.

The Kremlin said that the head of the Russian security services (FSB) had indicated his support to Mr. Souvanaliev in “GKNB’s efforts to stabilize the situation and avoid chaos”.

Still, even Moscow does not seem certain to be able to influence the outcome of this political crisis. Stanislav Zas, secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSC), a politico-military union led by Russia, offered on Friday his help to “play a mediating role”.

Kyrgyzstan: new clashes, the country is sinking into crisis

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