x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Brother of former Kyrgyzstan's ousted president arrested

Kyrgyzstan has arrested a brother of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev on accusations of fomenting ethnic bloodshed in the country's south last month.

Kyrgyzstan has arrested a brother of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev on accusations of fomenting ethnic bloodshed in the country's south last month, police said today. Younger brother Akhmat Bakiyev, on the run since April, was detained late Wednesday in a raid on his apartment hideout in the southern city of Jalalabad and will be flown to Bishkek, the police chief who headed the raid told AFP.

"Akhmat Bakiyev was arrested in one of the multi-storied homes near the centre, where he was renting an apartment. He did not put up resistance though he was armed," said Melis Turganbayev, the local deputy police chief. "He is accused of organising mass riots, sparking inter-ethnic conflict and organising illegal armed groups." Akhmat Bakiyev was found with two pistols as well as a wig and paste-on moustache and beard, the police chief added.

Kyrgyzstan's interim government, which seized power in an April uprising that ousted Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has offered a 20,000 to 100,000-dollar bounty for the capture of his relatives. The ex-president has fled to Belarus. The new authorities have accused the Bakiyev family of instigating the June clashes between majority Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks in his former southern stronghold in the south of the ex-Soviet state.

Officials said as many as 2,000 people may have died in the bloodletting last month. Bakiyev's nephew Sanjar has been in jail since June, while Kyrgyzstan has demanded that Britain extradites Maxim Bakiyev, one of the former president's three brothers. Police are still hunting for Janysh Bakiyev, another brother and former head of the presidential guard. Janysh Bakiyev is accused of ordering security forces at the presidential building in Bishkek to open fire on the anti-government street protestors who in April brought to power the new government led by Roza Otunbayeva.

An audio recording was circulated in May on the Internet in which Janysh Bakiyev and his brother Maxim were apparently heard plotting a smear campaign and counter-coup against the new Kyrgyz authorities. * AFP