Violent protests in Kazakhstan have resulted in deaths and paralysis of air transport. While the president declared a state of emergency over the entire territory and accepted the resignation of the government, he called on the most prominent opponents to continue the anger until the fall of the regime.
Eight members of the security forces and the army were killed and hundreds were injured in the riots that rocked Kazakhstan for several days, according to local media, quoting the Ministry of the Interior.
The protesters took control of two airports in the cities of Almaty and Aktau, and the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that terrorists seized five planes at Alma-Ata airport, some of them foreign.
According to Al-Jazeera correspondent in Russia, the Russian company “Airflot”, Belarusian Airlines and Azerbaijan Airlines canceled their flights to Almaty after news of the demonstrators taking control of its airport.
The Kazakh presidency had announced earlier that the government submitted its resignation to President Kassym Gumrat Tokayev, and this came in an attempt to calm the anger of the demonstrators who took to the streets to protest and set fire to official buildings in protest against the government’s performance and the rise in prices.
Kazakh media reported that the protesters stormed the Almaty government building, the country’s largest city.
Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that the protesters looted the Almaty government building, and that the first floor of the building was on fire, adding that the largest telecom operator cut off Internet services for the whole country.
The Presidency of the Republic published on its website a decree stating that the president accepted the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Askar Mamin, and assigned Ali Khan Ismailov (Deputy Prime Minister) to take care of business pending the formation of a new government.
The decree added that members of the government will continue to perform their job duties until the approval of the formation of the new government, adding that the decree entered into force from the date of President Tokayev’s signature on it.
The Kazakh president ordered the government to control the prices of fuel and basic commodities, and said the dismissed government was responsible for the tension, and that ministers had failed to tackle inflation.
The resignation of the government came the day after the president declared a state of emergency in Almaty, the economic capital, after this southeastern city witnessed – on Tuesday evening – a huge demonstration, which the police used to disperse sound bombs and tear gas.
Tokayev declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the Mangistau province from Wednesday, January 5, until January 19, provided that during this period a night curfew would be in effect, starting at 11 pm and ending at 7 am local time.
Tokayev called on the heads of state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization to help his country in overcoming what he described as the terrorist threat, and said that he would soon announce a new package of proposals related to the process of transferring power in his country. He also announced his presidency of the National Security Council headed by former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Tokayev stressed in a speech to the people his intention to deal firmly with the protests in the country.
Early in the morning on Thursday, the Prime Minister of Armenia said that the CSTO countries would send peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan.
Reuters reported that the police arrested more than 200 people after attacking government buildings during the protests, while the Ministry of Interior said that protesters burned 37 police cars during the demonstrations.
Subsequently, it was reported that a state of emergency was declared over the entire Kazakh territory.
Internationally, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States supports calls for calm, and that the protesters should express themselves peacefully.
She explained that Washington is urging the authorities in Kazakhstan to exercise restraint in dealing with the protests, and stressed that the Russian accusations of the United States of inciting the unrest are “completely false.”
In turn, the US State Department said in a statement that it condemns the acts of violence and destruction of property in Kazakhstan, and calls on all parties to exercise restraint andFind a peaceful solution to the emergency.
وأضافت “We call on everyone in Kazakhstan to respect constitutional institutions and human rights, andRespect for freedom of the media, and the return of Internet service.
For his part, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, called on all parties involved in the current events in Kazakhstan to exercise restraint, avoid violence and give priority to the language of dialogue.
resentment and justification
Messaging apps – Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp – stopped working on Tuesday evening, after thousands of people took to the streets in the oil-rich country to express their dissatisfaction with high prices and government performance.
The protests sparked a rise in gas prices, but the government’s move to cut prices in response to the protesters’ demands did not contribute to allaying their anger.
For its part, the Ministry of Energy explained that the rise in prices is due to the high demand for gas cylinders, which began trading on the Energy Exchange at the beginning of the year.
After the demonstrations broke out, Tokayev called for restraint, writing on Twitter that “the demonstrators must be responsible and ready for dialogue.”
The president added that directives had been issued to the police to prevent “violations of public order,” and said he had asked the authorities to find a “solution in the interest of both sides.”
down the system
As for the opposition, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who resides in Paris, he called for continuing the protests until the overthrow of the Nazarbayev and Tokayev regime and all the current authority in the country.
Ablyazov – in a video clip on Twitter – asked the protesters to take control of all state institutions and not to attack the police and the army or harm government centers across the country.
Ablyazov announced the existence of a coordination body for the protests operating from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.