Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency amid gold mine protests

Eurasia News

Bishkek: Kyrgyzstan on Friday declared a state of emergency in the Jeti-Oguz District in the country’s north after protests by local residents over a Canadian-owned gold mine turned violent. The Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.

A state of emergency was introduced from Friday afternoon to June 10 with the establishment of a daily curfew from 21:00 to 06:00, according to a decree signed by President Almazbek Atambayev, the presidential press service told Xinhua.

Earlier this week, some villagers in the Jeti-Oguz District blocked a road leading to the largest gold deposit in the country — the Kumtor gold mine, demanding better social benefits and improvement of infrastructure from the Canadian mining group Centerra Gold, which wholly owns the mine.

Protestors broke into a local substation on Thursday night and cut off electricity to the mine. More than 90 protestors were arrested after clashes with the police, with 20 police officers also injured.