Kyrgyzstan’s Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev has visited the northern district that has been in a state of emergency since protesters and police clashed near the country’s biggest gold mine, Kumtor. In his meeting with local residents, Satybaldiyev on June 1 pledged that the government would study protesters’ demands.
The Central Asian News Service quoted government sources saying officials secured a promise that protesters would neither block the road to the mining operations nor cut off electricity to the facility again. More than 50 people were wounded and 80 others detained in the May 31 clashes in the Jety-Oguz district.
FEATURE: Questioning The Environmental Cost Of The Kumtor Gold Mine
Protesters are demanding better ecological standards, accusing the Canadian-based owners of ruining the environment, and free medical facilities. The demonstrations began earlier this week when protesters blocked the main road leading to the mine.
Satybaldiyev also reported speaking with representatives of the Centerra-run mining company, who confirmed that electricity had been restored early on June 1 after the cutoff by angry protesters of a local power station on May 30.
Kyrgyz media report that dozens of people gathered near the national government’s headquarters in Bishkek on June 1 to support the Kumtor protesters. Meanwhile, protests continued in the southern city of Jalal-Abad, where hundreds stormed the governor’s office on May 31.
The state of emergency, including an overnight curfew, was declared for the Jety-Oguz district until June 10.