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Mourner at a memorial for protesters killed in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan has been in mourning over those killed in the protestsImage: AP

Crisis in Kyrgyzstan

April 9, 2010

Kyrgyzstan's interim leader said her government would do everything possible to prevent civil war as the European Union made plans to send its top Central Asia representative to the country to assess the situation.


After bloody opposition protests in Kyrgyzstan forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev out of the capital, interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has said her provisional government controlled the armed forces and would do everything it could to prevent the outbreak of civil war.

She accused Bakiyev of stoking turmoil in the south, where he has been since Wednesday and where he finds his strongest political support.

Roza Otunbayeva
Otunbayeva promised the president safe passage if he resignedImage: AP

"(Bakiyev's) forces are not preparing to surrender," Otunbayeva said. "You can see how many incidents of violence there are around the city orchestrated by their side, by Bakiyev's supporters."

Otunbayeva told reporters in Bishkek on Friday that Bakiyev could freely leave the country, but that the government "will guarantee his security, only his personal security, if he resigns."

But President Bakiyev has rejected calls for his resignation. He told news agency AFP on Friday that the new leadership bears responsibility for the deaths of protestors this week.

On Friday, mourners gathered in central Bishkek and at funerals around the city for those killed. Many were enraged at the actions of security forces and some called for harsh punishment for Bakiyev.

EU sends representative

The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has dispatched her top representative for Central Asia to Kyrgyzstan as a fragile calm came over the capital Bishkek.

Pierre Morel was scheduled to travel to Kyrgyzstan on Saturday morning, said Ashton's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic in a statement.

"The purpose of the visit is to assess the situation after the latest unrest and identify ways in which the EU, in cooperation with its international partners, can facilitate a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the crisis," she said.

Offers of humanitarian aid to the new government have already been made by Russia, which maintains an air force base in the former Soviet republic. Russia is the only country which has so far recognized the provisional government.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Bakiyev has rejected calls for his resignationImage: AP

Kocijancic said that the EU would wait to see how the situation in Kyrgyzstan develops in the near future before making a similar commitment, but that Morel would work with other international delegations like United Nations representative Jan Kubis.

Frozen banks

In an apparent move to prevent political chaos from destroying the country's financial system, the new Kyrgyz government froze the banking system, accusing President Bakiyev of emptying state coffers before fleeing to the south.

"Not only are the people and businesses affected, but also the government," said Edil Baisalov, chief of staff for Otunbayeva. "We're very concerned that assets will be transferred out of the country."

Baisalov also claimed that the new government had "irrefutable proof" that Janish Bakiyev, a top security official and the president's brother, ordered state police officers to shoot and kill protesters, and that the president knew of the order.

Editor: Kyle James

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