Violence in Kyrgyz not over

Rioters have clashed with
police outside the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, as supporters of the
ousted president staged a rally in the country’s south.

Armed with sticks and stones about
1,000 men clashed with police and landowners over a land dispute that
followed unrest in which 84 anti-government protesters were killed and Kurmanbek
Bakiyev, the president, was forced to flee the capital.

The group had seized land in
the village of Mayevka outside Bishkek and demanded talks with Bishkek
officials, local media reported.

After moving into the city, they
forced the acting mayor of Bishkek to sign a document authorising the handover
of the land they had seized.

Kyrgyzstan has remained tense since
Bakiyev was ousted and an interim government declared itself in charge of the
country.

In the meantime about 1,500 Bakiyev
loyalists gathered in the city of Jalal’abad to protest against the interim government.

“Bakiyev is our legitimate
president!” they shouted, some holding banners reading “The opposition
spilt blood to grab power”.

Others gave out leaflets calling
for Bakiyev’s comeback.

Supporters of Bakiyev, who was
flown to Kazakhstan amid concerns about his safety on Thursday, seized a
regional government office over the weekend.

A foreign ministry spokesman said
on Monday said that Bakiyev, has left Kazakhstan but did not say where he had
gone.

In a bid to claim its authority
over Kyrgyzstan, the interim government unveiled a reform plan which includes
shifting powers from the president to parliament and holding free parliamentary
and presidential elections in late September or early October.

“The provisional government
has worked out a democratic development plan tentatively dubbed ‘The return to
democracy’,” Omurbek Tekebayev, the interim prime minister, said.

He said UN officials will be
invited to join the Central Election Commission in order to maximise
transparency.

The interim government has cracked
down on Bakiyev’s allies, issuing arrest warrants for officials it says were
involved in murders and corrupt deals under Bakiyev.

Bakiyev himself came to power in a
2005 revolt on the back of promises to build democracy and protect human
rights. He was then backed by Roza Otunbayeva who now heads the interim
government.

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