Kyrgyzstan needs international support after president's ouster, UN envoy says

Protesters outside the office of the governor in Talas, Kyrgyzstan

16 April 2010 – Kyrgyzstan still faces a lot of challenges following the ouster of president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and the establishment of a more democratic government, and the international community should step up to the plate to help it, a United Nations special envoy said today.

“One must understand that Kyrgyzstan is one of the poorest countries, it's a landlocked country, it has problems to get goods outside for export, many problems with electricity during the winter,” UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Executive Director Ján Kubi? told a news conference in New York on his return from the Central Asian country, where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had sent him as a special envoy at the height of the turmoil.

“A lot of problems, and they have not disappeared with the change of the Government. On the contrary, the Government will be very soon asked 'so deliver, help us, do something to improve the social situation of us, of citizens''.”

The provisional Government, formed by opposition leaders who accused Mr. Bakiyev of corruption, nepotism and repression, now had to solidify its standing and control over the whole of the country. “They need international support,” Mr. Kubi? stressed. “The UN is there and is now looking into the activities and problems that we have in the country, how to adjust them even to the needs of the current stage.

“What is encouraging is that the provisional Government is fully aware of the needs to also look into the matters how to put the Government more firmly on a constitutional and legal basis,” he added, citing the “major task” it set itself to write a new constitution and new election code, and then hold free and fair elections monitored by the international community within six months.

The UN and partner organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are prepared to provide assistance according to the wishes of the provisional government.

“We also reach out and try to mobilize the attention of international donors, individual countries to help the country, to help the people of the country indeed to come back and restart the democratic processes,” he said.

During the crisis, which was defused earlier this week when Mr. Bakiyev left the country under an immunity agreement with the provisional Government, Mr. Kubi? said he maintained regular telephone contact with the former president, who had fled to the south of the country, “to pass messages not to use arms, not to go to confrontation, tone down the activities, not to allow excesses. That was a part of my conflict-prevention mandate,” he added.

In a related development, Miroslav Jenca, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Central Asia and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), will begin a visit to Kyrgyzstan on Sunday.

According to the office of his spokesperson, the Secretary-General has asked Mr. Jenca to continue UN efforts to assist the authorities in Bishkek in ensuring conditions for the peaceful, prosperous, and democratic development of the country.


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