Kyrgyzstan. From the New Year, the death penalty in
Kyrgyzstan was abolished. In March, Kubanjchbek Djumaljev
was appointed new prime minister and in April the government
was heavily reformed. According to
Countryaah, the intention was stated to be to
speed up economic and political reforms. Shortly thereafter,
the World Bank approved several loans intended, among other
things. for land reform.
In May, some 30 activists from the Uyghur people in
Xinjiang Province in western China, bordering Kyrgyzstan,
were arrested in Kyrgyzstan. Uyghur separatists aim to
reestablish an Islamic state in the East Turkestan.
In northeastern Kyrgyzstan, 20 tonnes of sodium cyanide
was dispersed in the Barskoon River during the summer
following a traffic accident. Hundreds of poisoned people
were taken to hospitals and three people were reported to
have died of poisoning.
In July, the Constitutional Court granted President Askar
Akajev the right to stand for a third term in the 2000
presidential election despite the Kyrgyz Constitution's
clause for a maximum of two periods. Akajev has been elected
only once since the law came into force in 1993. The
opposition leader appealed to the court to change his
In October, more than 90% of voters in a referendum said
yes to the privatization of land. The result was a success
for President Akajev in his conflict with Parliament and
means that small farmers become owners of the land they use.
In November, Kyrgyzstan strengthened the military
guarding of the border with Tajikistan, where civil war took
In December, President Askar Akajev deposed the
nine-month-old government, which he blamed for the country's
financial failures. Parliament appointed Jumabek Ibraimov as
new prime minister.
Kyrgyzstan became an independent republic on 31 August
1991. The political landscape is characterized by ancient
divides between the north and the south and between clans
and peoples groups. A main distinction is between Kyrgyz
people in the north and ethnic Uzbeks in the south, where
Islamists have gained a certain degree.
From the mid-1990s, Akajev's board became increasingly
authoritarian and corrupt. The president was allowed to
extend his powers by referendums that were allegedly
At the October 2000 presidential election, Akajev was
re-elected for a third five-year term. The regime claimed
that it had received nearly 75 percent of the vote, but
international observers complained of widespread electoral
fraud. At the same time, there was considerable
dissatisfaction in the population due to financial
difficulties in the country. Opposition leader Felix Kulov
was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2002, and shortly
afterwards his colleague Azimbek Beknazarov was arrested,
leading to bloody riots involving at least six victims and
many arrests in southern Jalalabad province. Occasional
unrest also occurred over the next few years.
In the economic field, Kyrgyzstan has chosen more Western
models than its neighboring countries. The country joined
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in
1992, and encouraged by these organizations, Kyrgyzstan
emerged from the ruble zone in May 1993 as the first state
in Central Asia and introduced its own currency, which.
Somen's course has been relatively stable despite weak
developments in Kyrgyzstan's economy, primarily thanks to
support from the IMF and, to some extent, substantial
foreign investment. In the mid-1990s, Kyrgyzstan was
designated as the leading reform country in Central Asia.
Kyrgyzstan has great development potential in terms of
hydropower. During Akajev's Norwegian visit in 2003, an
agreement was signed to make use of Norwegian expertise. It
was pointed out here that both countries have exploitable
resources of about 150 terawatt hours (TWT). While Norway
has used about 90 percent of its resources, Kyrgyzstan has
so far only utilized 10 percent. Since the Prime Minister's
visit, extended Norwegian assistance has been provided,
including for police training.
Compared to the population, Kyrgyzstan has received three
times as much support and investment from the West as any
other country in the former Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the
country's foreign debt in 2013 exceeded USD 3.8 billion,
more than the country's GDP. The country has rich deposits
of valuable minerals, and Canadian interests are heavily
engaged in the country's gold industry. Several major
financial scandals have been linked to these investments,
and Kyrgyzstan remains one of the poorest new states in
Central Asia. More than half of the population is classified
as poor in international statistics.