A new wave of unrest hit Kyrgyzstan on Monday, with violent protests in the suburbs of the capital and the south of the country, while ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev left Kazakhstan for an unknown destination. A new wave of unrest engulfed Bishkek's northern suburbs on Monday morning, when some 2,000 people armed with sticks set several cars on fire and threw rocks at houses in nearby villages. They tried to seize some 700 hectares of land outside the capital, saying it was theirs to build houses on, but landowners drove them away. The rioters then moved toward the capital, but were stopped by police. After negotiations with the head of the municipal administration they agreed not to enter the city.
The village of Mayovka, to the north of Bishkek, bore the brunt of the violence, with rioters burning buildings, throwing rocks at villagers' houses and pillaging private estates. Local 24.kg news agency reported that at least two people were killed and 13 injured in Mayovka. Roza Otunbayeva, the head of the interim government, said on Monday evening that the situation in the village was under control, and police forces had detained about 40 initiators of the riots.
Ousted President Bakiyev fled the capital on April 7 amid violent protests that saw the opposition seize power, taking refuge in his home village near the southern city of Jalalabad, where violence also flared on Monday. Supporters of the former president stormed the Jalalabad police department, the Kyrgyz 24.kg news agency reported, adding that "they were throwing Molotov cocktails at the building and the police fired warning shots." First Deputy Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev said that the interim government was working to stabilize the situation in the country and to avoid causalities among the civilian population. "We will not use weapons against civilian population," he said. "But I am ready to use even napalm against bandits." Atambayev blamed the unrest in Jalalabad on Bakiyev's allies. "A slightly unstable situation in Jalalabad can be explained by the fact that [weapons] were imported there by criminals, by Bakiyev's lot," Atambayev said. "These criminals, who could not fly with Bakiyev, stayed in Jalalabad."
Bakiyev flew to neighboring Kazakhstan last week and the Kazakh government said on Monday he had left the country for an unknown destination. "According to my information, Bakiyev has left Kazakhstan. I do not know anything about his current whereabouts," Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Askar Abdrakhmanov said. He said that "perhaps" Bakiyev had left Kazakhstan with his family, but did not disclose the time of his departure. Meanwhile, Bakiyev's younger brother Kanybek said Kurmanbek was unlikely to return to Kyrgyzstan in the next couple of days. "Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev will not arrive in the country today, or tomorrow. I cannot comment on when it will happen," Kanybek said. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Sunday his country was ready to provide refuge to Bakiyev and his family and provide whatever help they need. The interim government in Kyrgyzstan says it wants to set up an international investigation into alleged crimes committed by Bakiyev. Charges have already been filed against some of his relatives.
Although the situation outside Bishkek remained very tense during the day, the police forces in the country's capital were busy picketing the building of the country's interim government demanding the resignation of the interior minister. Bishkek police went on strike on Monday but later returned to their duties as acting Interior Minister Bolot Sherniyazov was replaced. "The interim government has agreed to meet our demands and to appoint a new interior minister," Aibek Abdrazakov, a police negotiator, said adding that Bolot Alymbekov, a former deputy minister, had been appointed to head the ministry.
He said the Bishkek police were "satisfied" and would immediately return to their duties.