April 19th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Ex-Kyrgyz president on the move

Four days after fleeing his country to neighboring Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan's deposed president Kurmanbek Bakiev is once again on the move, this time to an undisclosed location.

"He [Bakiev] left on Sunday. I can't say where he went," said Ilyas Omarov, a spokesman for Kazakhstan's foreign ministry.

Bakiyev was overthrown earlier this month after a day of bloody clashes between police and protesters in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek left scores of people dead.

Omarov said the government of Kazakhstan helped fly Bakiev out of Kyrgyzstan last Thursday to the southern Kazakhstan town of Taraz.

"We organized a special plane for him to ensure his security," said Omarov, describing last Thursday's flight. "Certain measures were taken to prevent civil war or any escalation."

Kyrgyzstan remains far from stable. Over the weekend, Bakiev's supporters took over an administrative building and television station in the deposed president's ancestral home town of Jalalabad.

Meanwhile a resident in the Kyrgyz capital told CNN children were sent home from school early Monday after riots erupted over a property dispute in a village bordering Bishkek.

"The authorities will take strict measures to prevent all illegal actions," warned Edil Baisalov, chief of staff of Kyrgyzstan's interim government, in an announcement released Monday over his Twitter account. "All instigators and initiators of disorder will be brought to justice swiftly."

Washington and Moscow, which both maintain airbases in Kyrgyzstan, have reached out to the interim government in Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan's larger, oil- and gas-rich neighbor Kazakhstan is also taking an active role, engaging with the new interim government.

On Monday, Kazakhstan's prime minister held talks with an interim Kyrgyz government official in Kazakhstan's capital Astana. Kazakhstan's foreign minister is also expected to travel to Bishkek to meet with Kyrgyz interim leader Rosa Otunbaeva on Tuesday.

As for Bakiev's currents whereabouts, one possible destination could be another former Soviet republic: Belarus. The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has publicly offered Bakiev sanctuary in his country.

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Filed under: Kyrgyzstan • World
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