Otunbayeva intends to bring Bakiyev to justiceImage: AP
April 16, 2010
Kyrgyzstan's new leaders have arrested top allies of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev as they tighten their grip on power in the turmoil-stricken country. This comes after Bakiyev officially resigned late on Thursday.
Officials from the interim government in Kyrgyzstan said on Friday that they had arrested the former defense minister Baktybek Kaliyev and were seeking to detain another dozen close allies of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
The interim government also asked Kazakhstan - where Bakiyev is believed to be hiding - to extradite his son Murat Bakiyev, former prime minister Daniyar Usenov and security services chief Murat Sutalinov, who all took refuge there amid the protests.
Bakiyev was still believed to be in the city of Taraz where he was airlifted on Thursday. The move was jointly coordinated by Russia and the United States in a bid to quell Kyrgyzstan's flaring tensions.
After arriving in Kazakhstan, Bakiyev formally resigned while bitterly blaming the interim government for the bloodshed that left 84 dead in protests last week.
"In these tragic days for the Kyrgyz people, I am resigning in accordance with the Kyrgyz constitution, taking into account my responsibility for the future of the Kyrgyz people," he said in a statement.
The resignation was triumphantly read out by the head of the interim government, Roza Otunbayeva, brandishing a copy of the handwritten text.
Bakiyev himself came to power in a popular uprising known as the Tulip Revolution in 2005, but in recent years he faced increasing criticism for authoritarianism and corruption as the country fell into economic disaster.