Thursday, May 06, 2010

AP: Kyrgyz security chief warns of instability

By Leila Saralayeva (AP)

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Allies of deposed Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev may fund public disturbances in a bid to destabilize this turbulent Central Asian nation, the acting head of the security services said Thursday.

The warning came amid unsuccessful efforts to track down Bakiyev's close relatives and former high-ranking officials.

"Until the close relatives of ex-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev are detained, there will be no end to the instability," said security services chief Keneshbek Duishebayev.
Duishebayev said authorities were concerned by rumors that demonstrations in Bakiyev's support will be held on May 17.

Political rallies will be permitted, but any attempts to create public disorder through illegal means will be quashed, Duishebayev said.

Bakiyev fled the country last month, more than a week after he was toppled from power amid violent clashes between government forces and demonstrators that claimed at least 85 lives. He is currently in Belarus, where he has been offered refuge by President Alexander Lukashenko.

Bakiyev swept to power in 2005 on the crest of a wave of street protests, but his public standing collapsed amid growing corruption allegations, worsening living conditions and political repression.

Duishebayev says Bakiyev's brother, Zhanybek, who is accused of issuing the order to fire at protesters in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, may be eluding capture by moving across the Kyrgyz border with Uzbekistan. Another brother, Akhmat Bakiyev, a businessman and powerbroker in the family's political stronghold in southern Kyrgyzstan, also is at large.

"These are experienced people that have spent their entire lives carrying out investigative work, so they know our methods very well," Duishebayev said.

Acting Finance Minister Temir Sariyev has warned that the Bakiyev family may use finances it is accused of appropriating during Kurmanbek Bakiyev's five-year rule to finance subversive and anti-government activities.

The interim government also is offering cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of several of Bakiyev's fugitive colleagues, including former Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov.

Rewards of $20,000 to $100,000 are being offered to those who can help find them — colossal bounties in a country where the average salary is $130 per month.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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