UN envoy: Kyrgyzstan needs int'l support

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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 on Friday.

"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 Jan Kubis told a news conference at the UN Headquarters in New York on his return from the Central Asian country, where UN 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," he said. "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 Bakiyev of corruption, nepotism and repression, now had to solidify its standing and control over the whole of the country. " They need international support," Kubis 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 for 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," Kubis said.

During the crisis, which was defused earlier this week when Bakiyev left the country under an immunity agreement with the provisional government, Kubis 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.

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