Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Kyrgyz Pogrom Is International Disgrace

Posted by Info on 21/06/2010

Why didn’t the international community act to contain the violence?

Latest estimates place the number of people displaced by the violence at over 400,000. While the official death toll is still less than two hundred, Acting president Roza Otunbayeva admitted that it could be as high as 2,000.
Some sort of counterrevolution has been expected since the previous government was toppled by a popular uprising in April. At least four attempts at creating similar disturbances have been reported in the capital, Bishkek, over the last few months, including the burning of houses in a Turkish quarter.

That Otunbayeva’s pleas for assistance to help restore peace in Osh and Jalal-Abad were rebuffed is a shocking indictment of an international community that speaks of protecting the vulnerable.

It is inconceivable that bodies like the UN were caught unprepared. Little regarded by most, this desperately poor country is well-known by world leaders because of its strategic importance and unique position as the only country to host both a US and a Russian airbase. But while vested interests fiddled, the innocent burned. There are now fears in Bishkek that agent provocateurs will strike again while government forces are diverted to Osh and Jalal-Abad in the south. A neutral force is needed not just to keep the peace, but to distribute aid in areas where Uzbeks don’t trust Kyrgyz volunteers and are refusing them access.

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