Kyrgyz violence attempt at ethnic cleansing: Security group

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

VIENNA - The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) issued a statement Tuesday that labelled the violent clashes in Kyrgyzstan as an attempt at ethnic cleansing.

The wording was contained in a report by OSCE minorities High Commissioner Knut Vollebaek, who also said that the interim government of Roza Otunbayeva was no longer in control, despite her good intentions.

“It has, however, become evident that the provisional government does not possess the power to enforce law and order in the country,” Vollebaek said in his statement that he delivered at an emergency session of the 56 OSCE member countries in Vienna Monday.

“The development is particularly dramatic in the south of the country where we witness attempts of ethnic cleansing,” he said.

At least 120 have been killed and at least 100,000 Uzbeks have reportedly fled amid fighting between the Kyrgysz majority and members of the Uzbek minority, around two months after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted amid bloody riots in early April.

But the number of casualties might be much higher, as information is currently limited to the southern cities Osh and Jalal-Abad, the senior diplomat said.

Vollebaek called on the UN Security Council to take immediate action to restore peace and security.

He also proposed a power-sharing agreement between the Uzbeks and all national minorities, and called for an independent international investigation of the ethnic violence.

Also Tuesday, the OSCE’s 56 member states unanimously offered to help resolve the crisis in Kyrgyzstan, to prevent a spillover of the violent ethnic conflict in the region.

In April, the OSCE was the first international body to issue a de-facto acceptance of Otunbayeva’s new interim government.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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