Kyrgyz president signals state of emergency could be extended

Kyrgyz president signals state of emergency could be extended

The office of Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov announced on Monday that the President has been asked to prolong the state of emergency in the capital Bishkek beyond October 21 to further stabilize the situation after a week of unrest.

The extension proposal reportedly came from Bishkek commandant Almazbek Orozaliyev who met Jeenbekov together with two other senior security officials, according to a president’s office statement.

What is happening in Kyrgyzstan? 

Following Parliamentary elections on 4 October 2020, large numbers of protesters gathered in central Bishkek and other cities across the country. As a result, the Kyrgyz government has announced emergency measures in Bishkek in response to the protests. These will be in place until 21 October (bur are expected to be extended to further notice). From 10 October a nightly curfew will be in place in Bishkek between 21:00 and 05:00. The army has also been brought in to maintain order.

What are the risks of traveling to Kyrgyzstan?  

It is possible that demonstrations will continue in the coming week and there is a risk that these could become violent. Foreign nationals are advised to avoid all crowds and demonstrations and maintain a low profile. Follow updates on local media and any instructions from the police or other authorities. 

Following protests in Kyrgyzstan after the Parliamentary elections on 4 October the Uzbek authorities have closed the Kyrgyz border to foreigners, including Kyrgyz citizens. Air Astana has cancelled their flights between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from 9 to 16 October. It is possible that other border points and transport options could be closed at short notice

Terrorist attacks in Kyrgyzstan also can’t be ruled out. Foreigners should be vigilant in public places and follow security advice from the local authorities.

Skirmishes can occur along the disputed Kyrgyz-Tajik border. Previous incidents have involved both civilians and border guards and several have involved firearms. There are also occasional security incidents on the Kyrgyz/Uzbek and Kyrgyz/Kazakh borders. There’s a risk of further localised violence and border closures at any time

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