Nurlan Motuev Arrested

by Nathan Hamm on 5/23/2006 · 1 comment

Nurlan Motuev managed to seize control of the Kara-Keche coal mine in the wake of Askar Akaev’s fall from power last year. Ever since, he has been trouble. In December, he threatened to cut off coal to Bishkek unless the government gave him higher subsidies.

“President must patronize me, I’ve brought him to power,” Kyrgyz “coal king” Nurlan Motuyev stated on December 9. The leader of the national patriotic movement “Joomart” threatens to block the road to coal mine Kara-Keche and demands from the Kyrgyz government to pay him more than $1.1 million for coal supplies and investments, a REGNUM correspondent informs.

He made additional threats against the government.

Nurlan Motuyev, director general of the “Ak-Ulak” coal strip mine in Naryn oblast, organized a series of meetings of between 350 and 6,000 people to restrain law enforcement agencies from conducting an investigation of his business. Motuyev threatened to incite armed civilian uprising against the government if the state fails to pay subsidies to his coal deposits. Earlier this month, Motuyev threatened to set fire to a local police precinct after the government sent a special investigation group to the minefield

Also late last year, he appeared alongside Ryspek Akmatbaev in protests against the government.

Nurlan Motuev, who has seized the Kara-Keche coal mine and defied government attempts to evict him, also appeared at Ryspek’s side in Bishkek, “Vechernii Bishkek” reported on 25 October. Motuev’s mine seizure has been something of a media sensation in recent weeks, widely seen as proof of the central government’s inability to impose its will. With Motuev’s arrival in Bishkek, the picture was complete — it was as though every symbol of lawlessness in Kyrgyz society had come together in a rebuke of parliament, the prime minister, and president.

This symbol of the government’s weakness is now in government custody.

Law-enforcement agencies in Kyrgyzstan say they have detained a controversial community leader for questioning in several criminal cases, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.

RFE/RL quotes a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry as saying Nurlan Motuev was arraigned today in Bishkek. No further details were immediately available.

So, is this a good sign–a sign that Bakiev has a new-found fondness for enforcing law and order? Or, is this just the president getting rid of a troublesome opponent?

PS — Is this his LJ?

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

Brian May 23, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Well now would be the time to move large numbers of militia in to reclaim control of the mine, before someone else just siezes it and does the same thing.

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