Some Kyrgyz don't want militant relatives to return from Syria


OSH PROVINCE, Kyrgyzstan -- Some residents of Aravan District, Osh Province, do not want their militant relatives to return from Syria, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)'s Kyrgyz service reported Saturday (September 16).

In 2014, the departure of two Aravan District families to Syria became news. Since then, their relatives have divided the militants' housing among themselves.

The daughter of Arapbai Vakhapov and his wife now lives in her parents' former home with her four children and blames her parents for her divorce.

"I haven't talked to my parents in four years," the daughter, whom RFE/RL did not name, said. "Because of them, the police interrogated my husband. That's why he threw me out ... How much I've suffered for being their child!"

Another embittered relative is the unnamed daughter-in-law of Dilyarakhmon Akhmedova, who went to Syria with her son, his wife and two grandchildren. The daughter-in-law too told RFE/RL she does not want to see her mother-in-law come back.

Twenty-eight residents of Aravan District, including four families, have gone to Syria, according to local officials. Four of the Aravan militants are reportedly dead, but all of them have gone unmourned back in Aravan.

One Aravan official is expressing optimism that the exodus to Syria has stopped.

"People came to understand the situation in Syria," Muzafar Mamasaidov, deputy governor of Aravan Province, told RFE/RL. "Religious figures, local officials, teachers and the [Aravan] committee of elders did a lot of work. They constantly did outreach ... This year, nobody has gone to Syria from Aravan."

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