30 september 2020

Central Asia news

The head of Kyrgyzstan's security services talks about the creation of the Islamic Movement of Kyrgyzstan

03.05.2011 18:26 msk


Religious life Kyrgyzstan

Speaking last Friday, April 29, Kyrgyz National Security State Service chief Keneshbek Dushebyaev said in an address to parliament that 400 citizens of Kyrgyzstan, mainly ethnic Uzbeks, are currently training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They went after the June events in southern Kyrgyzstan, said Dushebyaev, who described them as “separatists”. (the information is from Bishkek-based news agency AKIpress).

The Islamic Movement of Kyrgyzstan is a group unheard of by experts questioned by Fergana reporters. The name has not been encountered before in specialized publications or mass media.
The speech by Kyrgyzstan’s chief security official must have been quite informative and startling. Azattyk Radio (the Kyrgyz service of RFE/RL) reported that Dushebyaev announced the creation of something called the Islamic Movement of Kyrgyzstan. This has allegedly been formed by the separatist forces with the aim "of destabilizing the domestic situation."

It is more the pity that Dushebayev’s speech before elected deputies has not been published anywhere in full. Indeed, it is hard to understand what exactly it is that the head of the security services meant, or whether he had substantial evidence to back up his claims.

Allegations about groups of armed young Uzbeks having supposedly left the country to train at camps in nearby countries have been made before. President Roza Otunbayeva once said something along the same lines.

“There is information provided by the country’s security services that 200 young people from the south have left for militant camps in Afghanistan,” she said on Feb. 1, when she met with youth activists in southern Kyrgyzstan, according to an Interfax report.

According to the Kyrgyz president, the reason for this outflow of young Uzbeks to the mountains was not separatism, but the “outrages perpetrated by law enforcement agencies.” According to Otunbayeva, human rights violations by law enforcement agencies have often been cause of protests among the residents of certain cities.

It is curious that Dushebayev’s speech came a few days ahead of the publication of the long-awaited international commission’s report headed by Finnish politician Kimmo Kiljunen into the ethnic violence in Osh last year. The presentation of this investigation into the causes and consequences took place on May 3. The text of the report was presented simultaneously with the government comments on the investigations, which included many criticisms of the Kuljunen’s findings.

As if to somehow justify and give weight to the Dushebayev’s statements, Otunbayeva visited the south of Kyrgyzstan on May 2. While there, she visited border outposts in Batken region, learned about the living conditions of border service troops, and stressed the importance of improving communication between the border outposts and equipping border guards with modern means of communication. She also set forth the goal of quickly equipping frontier troops with Internet connection and gave orders to take action on building an effective barrier to drug trafficking, transnational crime and effectively protecting state borders.