Kyrgyzstan erupts into ethnic war after rioting between Kyrgyz and Uzbek youths

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by ajtr, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Kyrgyzstan erupts into ethnic war
    Gun battles rage between Kyrgyz and Uzbek youths after rioting in Osh spreads to other areas

    Kyrgyzstan was tonight in the grip of a bloody ethnic war after rioting that erupted four days ago in the southern city of Osh spread rapidly to other areas, with gun battles raging between Kyrgyz and Uzbek youths.

    The country's interim government granted its security forces shoot-to-kill powers and promised to send a volunteer force to the region. But the violence continued, taking the death toll since Thursday night to more than 100.

    At least 1,100 have been wounded in what are the country's worst ethnic clashes for 20 years. Mobs of Kyrgyz men were yesterday burning Uzbek villages slaughtering residents and storming police stations, witnesses said.

    Thousands of terrified ethnic Uzbeks flooded to the nearby border with Uzbekistan after their homes were destroyed. Witnesses reported that women and children were gunned down as they tried to escape. Kyrgyzstan opened its crossing with Uzbekistan, but many refugees appeared to be stuck.

    While the situation in Osh was said last night to be stabilising, rampages broke out in Jalal-Abad, another major southern city, 40 km away, and in surrounding villages. Gunfire echoed across the city, despite heavy rain, as mobs set fire to Uzbek houses, stores and cafes.

    The rioters seized an armoured vehicle and automatic weapons from a local military unit. At one point they tried to storm the hospital. Gangs of youths marauded through the streets, the Kyrgyz agency AKIpress reported, blockading the centre of town with barricades. There was also intense fighting at the city's university.

    "Gunfire on the streets is continuing," Jalil Saparov, a local journalist in Jalal-Abad, told the news website "There are no patrols, no government forces, just continuous shooting. It's clear those forces and means at the disposal of the regional authorities are completely inadequate."

    Tonight Kyrgyz soldiers were trying to disperse rioters in Osh by firing in the air. Much of the city, Kyrgyzstan's second largest, has been destroyed, with entire Uzbek neighbourhoods razed. Triumphant crowds of Kyrgyz men took to the streets, while the few remaining Uzbeks barricaded themselves in their homes.

    Eyewitnesses said bodies lay among the rubble, and were starting to smell. Most of the victims appeared to be Uzbek. At least one Pakistani student in Osh was killed during the rioting, and 15 others taken hostage, Pakistan's foreign ministry said. Food supplies had run out, and there was no gas or electricity.

    "They are killing us with impunity," retired builder Habibullah Khurulayev told Reuters.

    "The police are doing nothing ... They are helping them kill us. There are not many of us left to shoot." Khurulayev said police had refused to escort Uzbeks to the border six miles away, and added that Uzbeks were defending themselves with hunting rifles.

    Kyrgyzstan's interim leader Rosa Otunbaeva has blamed the country's ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev for instigating the unrest. Last month his supporters briefly seized government buildings in Jalal-Abad and other areas.

    Bakiyev – who fled in April after his troops shot dead 85 unarmed protesters – said claims he ordered the disturbances were "shameless lies". "The Kyrgyz republic is on the verge of losing its statehood. People are dying and no one from the current authorities is in a position to protect them," he said from Belarus.

    In reality, the pro-Bakiyev movement in south Kyrgyzstan has quickly morphed into a violent ethnic conflict. Most of the Uzbeks support the new interim leadership. In the absence of any meaningful government, long-simmering ethnic tensions appear to have exploded, fanned by criminal conflicts.

    There are fears among other central Asian nations that the ethnic slaughter could spread. It will also concern the US, which operates a military base near the capital, Bishkek, supplying troops in Afghanistan. The US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan deplored the ongoing violence and called for the "immediate restoration of order and a respect for rule of law".

    On Saturday Otunbayeva appealed to the Kremlin to send troops to restore order. Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, refused, saying the rioting was an "internal conflict", though he did send a battalion of paratroopers with the sole responsibility of reinforcing security at Russia's airbase in Kant, in the north of the country. He will discuss how to respond to the crisis later tomorrow with regional allies. The toll of dead and injured is likely to rise sharply, with many Uzbeks too terrified to travel to hospitals.

    According to the Associated Press, citing local officials, Kyrgyz mobs killed about 30 Uzbeks today in the village of Suzak in the Jalal-Abad region. Another Uzbek village, Dostuk, was burned by Kyrgyz assailants, but it was not known how many people were killed there.

    Ethnic Uzbeks ambushed about 100 Kyrgyz men on a road near Jalal-Abad and took them hostage, officials said. Vehicles on the main highway near Jalal-Abad repeatedly came under fire from unidentified gunmen. In the nearby village of Bazar-Kurgan, a mob of 400 Uzbeks overturned cars and killed a police captain. Residents said armed Kyrgyz men were flooding into the village to retaliate.

    The fertile Ferghana Valley, where Osh and Jalal-Abad are located, once belonged to a single feudal lord, but it was split by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin between Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Stalinist borders rekindled old rivalries and fomented ethnic tensions.

    In 1990, hundreds were killed in a violent land dispute between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Osh, and only the quick deployment of Soviet troops quelled the fighting. With no Russian troops in sight, the interim government late on Saturday night announced a partial mobilisation of military reservists up to 50 years old.
  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Russia peers into Kyrgyz void

    By M K Bhadrakumar

    Eighteen is a difficult age to own decisions or assume responsibility - especially concerning the fortunes of wayward younger siblings. By a curious coincidence, Russia has been tasked with taking a monumental decision of assuming responsibility on the 18th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan's national day when on Saturday the Kremlin received a formal communication from the president of the interim government, Roza Otunbayeva.

    By Otunbayeva's own description, "We need the arrival of outside forces to calm the situation down. The situation in Osh [in southern Kyrgyzstan] is out of control. Attempts to establish dialogue have failed, and the fighting and rioting continues. We

    have appealed to Russia for help and are waiting for news. We hope that adequate measures will be taken in the earliest possible timeframe."

    The ethnic riots between Kyrgyz and Uzbek have taken a heavy toll - over 100 dead and 1,500 injured. Before addressing the Kremlin in writing, Otunbayeva spoke with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin reacted in a measured way to the request form the former Soviet territory. Maybe, as Alfred Adler, the Austrian psychiatrist and contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, viewed it, birth order can leave an indelible impression on the firstborn's style of life and habitual ways of dealing with the task of friendship, love and work.

    At any rate, Moscow saw no reason for an immediate dispatch of troops. "This is an internal conflict, and Russia does not see the conditions for participation in its settlement," a Kremlin spokesperson told reporters in Moscow on Saturday. Russia was providing emergency humanitarian support, she said.

    However, she made a hugely significant revelation: "In his capacity as chairman of the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO] council, [Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev has ordered consultations to be held among secretaries of the member states on Monday to work out a collective response." (The members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.)

    The fact that Medvedev took this decision soon after returning to Moscow from a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent cannot go unnoticed. While in Tashkent, Medvedev categorically ruled out a CSTO intervention. "Only in the event of a foreign intrusion and an external attempt to seize power can we estimate that the CSTO is under attack."

    He added that Russia was ready to help if necessary. But then, "all the problems of Kyrgyzstan have internal roots. They are rooted in the weakness of the former authorities and their unwillingness to take care of the people's needs. I believe the Kyrgyz authorities will solve all the existing problems. The Russian Federation will help."

    Meanwhile, the SCO summit - China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - adopted a decision to send an observer team to Kyrgyzstan to monitor the constitutional referendum and the situation in general. Medvedev said the SCO "could not stay indifferent to the events in Kyrgyzstan, the SCO reaction was prompt and clear, and our countries promised help to the Kyrgyz people without delay." He promised "further assistance" to Kyrgyzstan by the SCO's "authorized agencies". He explained:
    Kyrgyzstan is one of the SCO founders, our ally and close partner. We are sincerely interested in Kyrgyzstan overcoming the stage of internal shocks as soon as possible and fulfilling the task of forming a new government capable of tackling the pressing issues of socio-economic development ... It is important to observe the legal scenario of the development of statehood in Kyrgyzstan. That is why we believe it would be right to send the SCO observers mission to the June 27 referendum on the new constitution and to further conduct a monitoring of the processes underway in Kyrgyzstan.
    Moscow is weighing the consequences of a military intervention in Kyrgyzstan and is pondering deeply. The dilemma is profound. First comes the security of the 750,000 ethnic Russian population. Otunbayeva said, "The situation has gotten out of control, since yesterday [Thursday] and we need military forces to arrest the situation. That is why we are turning to Russia."

    She pointed out that Uzbek, Russian and Tatar ethnic groups were being targeted and the death toll was "higher than you or I know". The Russian Migration Service noted that the number of ethnic Russians wanting to leave Kyrgyzstan for Russia had risen dramatically.

    Moscow cannot appear to be helpless as not only its image as the regional superpower but also Russian domestic opinion come into play. Medvedev will be under pressure to act decisively. However, intervention can turn out to be a slippery path.

    All the elements of an Afghanistan-like situation are imperceptibly becoming available in Kyrgyzstan: a weak and ineffectual state structure, leadership lacking in legitimacy, impassable ethnic divides, a deepening economic crisis and acute poverty, a heavy dependence on foreign aid, drug-mafia and Islamist militants - and a land-locked geography and demographic spread that invite outside interference and complicate the civil-war conditions.

    Moscow will not want to be juxtaposed with the rising wave of ethnic Kyrgyz nationalism, either. It made a catastrophic mistake in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The Kyrgyz situation is so extraordinarily volatile that the country's statehood stands in peril. It shouldn't turn out that Moscow is biting more than it can chew.

    The Otunbayeva-led interim government has yet to gain legitimacy following the April revolution that led to the ousting of president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. It is desperately trying to solidify its standing domestically and it lacks the power to control the country. The unity of the interim government remains problematic, too, and internecine rivalries may already have erupted between competing power centers in Bishkek involving vaulting ambitions of various constituent groups or individuals, many of whom aren't exactly on comradely terms with Moscow.

    Equally, there are question marks about the prospect of the June 27 referendum coming out with a credible verdict of public opinion. As a Russian observer wrote recently, "If the referendum is democratic, unpleasant surprises are possible, while if it is manipulated, then the preconditions will arise for a 'real' color revolution." The referendum concerns parliamentary reform to limit the powers of the president.

    The fact remains that the overthrow of Bakiyev in the bloody uprising in April was easily dubbed as a "color" revolution, but in reality it was more like a coup. Well-known Russian commentator Fedor Lukyanov recently wrote in the independent Gazeta:
    This has resulted in a dangerous and unstable situation exacerbated by the fact that the initiators of the coup have themselves abolished all the formally legitimate institutions, including the parliament. Russia was clearly far from distressed at the overthrow of Bakiyev, but it does not possess a system of organizations whose opinions could give legitimacy to the revolutionary government. Hence Moscow's persistent calls for the speediest holdings of elections and a return to the legal space. Here Russia hopes that the new government will be able to secure legitimacy through elections, although there is no certainty as to that.
    Meanwhile, an orderly holding of parliamentary elections under a new constitution scheduled for October seems highly problematic. Thus, the Kremlin will visualize the real danger that its interventionist force may find itself operating in is a political vacuum - and this at the invitation of an evanescent power structure that may prove all but illusory in the fullness of time.

    Another template is that ethnic Uzbeks who are on the receiving end of the pogrom in Osh form one-seventh of the population of Kyrgyzstan but are a near majority in Osh, which is close to the border with Uzbekistan. Yet, the displaced Uzbeks from Osh are streaming into Uzbekistan for refuge. Any foreign interventionist force will be stepping into the minefield of unresolved nationality questions in the region. Ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan have been restive and alleging various forms of discrimination from the authorities in Bishkek. In recent years, they have been agitating for equal rights such as the use of Uzbek as an official language and bigger representation in the judiciary and law-enforcement agencies. Bakiyev, who depended heavily on Kyrgyz nationalist support, exacerbated the Uzbek minority's sense of discrimination.

    There has been a mounting struggle for control of economic assets as the settled Uzbek community dominated the business sector and enjoyed relative prosperity, which caused resentment among the traditionally nomadic and impoverished ethnic Kyrgyz population. Clearly, there has been a steady breakdown in recent

    years of communication between the Uzbek community leaders and the Kyrgyz authorities.

    Given these underlying factors of Kyrgyz-Uzbek tensions, Moscow needs to be extremely wary of antagonizing Uzbekistan, which is a key country in Central Asia. When Russia proposed the setting up of an anti-terrorism center in southern Kyrgyzstan last year, Tashkent strongly protested and Moscow ultimately shelved the project. Uzbekistan's tiny neighbors - Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - suspect that Tashkent secretly harbors hegemonic aspirations and they seek protection from Moscow.

    Having said that, even as the central authority in Bishkek continues to weaken, Tashkent may feel the urge to intervene to protect ethnic Uzbek interests and to pamper Uzbek nationalism. On the other hand, Tashkent will be apprehensive of the spill-over of instability. Ferghana Valley, of which Osh forms a part, has been historically a crucible of political dissent and radical Islam. The first priority for Tashkent will be to insulate the Uzbek part of the valley from the anarchy in Osh.

    In short, Tashkent's stance will be a crucial determinant in any final decision that Moscow adopts. As things stood until recently, Tashkent opposed Moscow's moves to boost the CSTO's role as a provider of collective security in Central Asia.

    Tashkent feared that the CSTO might create precedents challenging Uzbekistan's emergent role as regional power. But with every reason to fear from the spreading anarchy in Kyrgyzstan, Tashkent may now be open to the idea that the time has come for collective intervention to stabilize the situation.

    To boot, the equations between Tashkent and the interim government in Bishkek remain frosty. Bishkek's pretensions of possessing a vibrant, noisy civil society profoundly irritate Tashkent. Will Tashkent, therefore, look to Moscow to take a lead role?

    The big question is whether Medvedev's decision to call a CSTO meeting in Moscow on Monday implies that Tashkent grudgingly accepts that Russia would have no alternative to intervening in Kyrgyzstan except under the CSTO banner. A direct Russian military intervention seems unthinkable, nor is SCO an appropriate vehicle of collective security.

    Kyrgyz statehood is fast dissolving and the survival of the autonomous state is becoming doubtful. It will be tempting to attribute great game theories. But the hard reality is that Kyrgyzstan has come to resemble a heavy burden that no great power will find it agreeable to bear in these times of economic troubles.

    The logic of great-power rivalry will remain a key subplot in Central Asia. This is clear from the stance adopted by the United States. US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said, "The United States supports efforts coordinated by the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [OSCE] to facilitate peace and order and the provision of humanitarian assistance to the victims of violence and disorder in the Kyrgyz Republic."

    Washington has shrewdly factored in that Kazakhstan, which currently heads the OSCE, too, has aspirations as a regional leader and will be apprehensive about the CSTO upstaging it, although it is a solid ally of Russia and an important member of the Moscow-led alliance. Kazakhstan always regarded Kyrgyzstan as its "little brother".

    Overarching all these regional ambitions is the incontrovertible geopolitical fact that Washington regards Central Asia as prospective turf for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and will find the CSTO's grip of the region's jugular veins unacceptable. The US keeps a military base in Manas, which is a vital hub for refueling tanker planes and the giant transport aircraft that ferry US troops to and from Afghanistan - and a useful listening post adjacent to Xinjiang in China.

    Besides, the Pentagon has been eyeing a project to construct an "anti-terrorism training center" in Osh. "At the request of the Kyrgyz government, we are putting $5.5 million into the reconstruction of a range complex outside of Osh city," a US Embassy spokesperson in Bishkek was quoted as saying recently.

    All the same, the Obama administration is hardly in a position to militarily intervene in Kyrgyzstan and will be constrained for the present to peer through the prism of its objectives in Afghanistan. Washington and Moscow collaborated in April in a joint operation to "evacuate" Bakiyev so as to avoid an escalation of internecine strife. It showed they are capable of cooperating when there is a shared interest with regard to overall regional stability. Besides, the "reset" of US-Russia ties has commenced and Medvedev is traveling to Washington later this month for his fourth meeting with Obama within the year.

    As for China, it is plain that Beijing has its eyes set squarely on the expansion of its economic influence in the region and would lack the desire to get involved in military adventures. Ironically, during his visit to Tashkent on Wednesday to attend the SCO summit, even as nearby Osh was waiting to explode, President Hu Jintao seized the opportunity to strike a deal to buy 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Uzbekistan, tying up all of that country's spare production.

    Again, Hu followed up two days later in Astana by signing a deal to double the capacity of China's oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to 400,000 barrels per day, which is roughly equivalent to the annual production of Sudan.

    But Beijing will be concerned about the anarchic conditions in Kyrgyzstan where there is a sizeable ethnic Uyghur population and with which Xinjiang shares a long border. Also, the rising tide of Islamic militancy in Kyrgyzstan has serious implications for China's security.

    "We know that not only criminal but also extremist groups and Islamic fundamentalists have stepped up their activity in Kyrgyzstan itself and are making efforts to gain certain power," CSTO secretary general Nikolai Bordyuzha said on May 12. When Islamic militants first burst into post-Soviet Central Asia in 1999, southern Kyrgyzstan figured in their sights. Last year they returned to the scene.

    The possibility of a radical group such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which was based in the Afghan-Pakistan region and active in Ferghana, stirring up the Uzbek-Kyrgyz ethnic cauldron cannot entirely be ruled out. The underground radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir is also known to be active in Osh.

    Conceivably, therefore, Moscow can expect a high level of understanding from Beijing for taking initiatives to try to stabilize the Kyrgyz situation.

    As far as Western powers are concerned, they lack any desire to intervene in faraway Kyrgyzstan. The US and the European Union have their hands full with problems. The US's passion for spreading democratic ideals has also significantly cooled.

    As Obama pointed out in his recent speech at the West Point Military Academy - and amply reflected in the latest National Security Strategy - the prevailing thinking in Washington is that the US should lead globally by setting its own example rather than resorting to adventurist, wasteful interventions.

    In sum, the main political obstacle, if any, to Russia's historic decision in the upcoming days will come not from the great powers rivaling Moscow for influence in Central Asia, but from the complex, inter-weaving interests of Kyrgyzstan's neighbors - especially Uzbekistan - and the accelerating meltdown of statehood in Bishkek.
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan leave 100-plus dead, more than 1,000 hurt

    Ethnic tension has boiled over into horrific violence in Kyrgyzstan, as more than 1,000 people have been wounded in rioting, with 100 or more killed.

    Troops were ordered by the government to shoot rioters in an effort to end the violence, but that failed to calm the upheaval.

    Witnesses saw bodies lying on the streets of the Central Asian republic's second largest city Osh as houses and shops in an Uzbek neighborhood burned for a third day.

    Snipers fired at ethnic Uzbeks fleeing for the nearby border with Uzbekistan in fighting that has spread to the city of Jalalabad and surrounding villages.

    "God help us! They are killing Uzbeks like animals. Almost the whole city is in flames," Dilmurad Ishanov, an ethnic Uzbek human rights worker, told Reuters by telephone from Osh.

    The riots are the worst violence since former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a bloody uprising in April and fled the country. The Uzbeks have backed the interim government, while many Kyrgyz in the south had support the toppled president.

    Thousands of Uzbeks have fled in panic to the nearby border with Uzbekistan after their homes were torched by roving mobs of Kyrgyz men. Some Uzbek women and children were gunned down as they tried to escape, witnesses said.

    Fires set by rioters have destroyed most of Osh, the country's second-largest city, and looters have stolen most of its food. Triumphant crowds of Kyrgyz men took control of most of Osh on Sunday while the few Uzbeks still in the city of 250,000 barricaded themselves in their neighborhoods.

    The rampages spread quickly Sunday to Jalal-Abad, another major southern city, and its neighboring villages, as mobs methodically set Uzbek houses, stores and cafes on fire. The rioters seized an armored vehicle and automatic weapons at a local military unit and attacked police stations around the region trying to get more firearms.

    Police and the military appeared to be on the defensive across the south, avoiding clashes with mobs.

    Interim President Roza Otunbayeva blamed Bakiyev's family for instigating the unrest in Osh, saying it was aimed at derailing a constitutional referendum on June 27 and new elections scheduled for October. A local official said Bakiyev supporters had attacked both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks to ignite the rioting.
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    75,000 Uzbeks flee ethnic riots in Kyrgyzstan

    AP – Clothes pegs hang on a rope in the foreground as an Uzbeks' residence burns after being torched by Kyrgyz …
    Slideshow:Unrest in Kyrgyzstan
    By SASHA MERKUSHEV and YURAS KARMANAU, Associated Press Writers – Sun Jun 13, 6:30 pm ET
    OSH, Kyrgyzstan – Mobs of rioters slaughtered Uzbeks and burned their homes and businesses in Kyrgyzstan's worst ethnic violence in decades, sending more than 75,000 members of the ethnic minority fleeing the country in attacks that appeared aimed at undermining the Central Asian nation's new interim government.
    More than 100 people were killed in southern Kyrgyzstan and more than 1,200 wounded in days of attacks, according to government estimates Sunday. The true toll may be much higher.
    The International Committee of the Red Cross said its delegates witnessed about 100 bodies being buried in just one cemetery, and noted that the official toll is unlikely to include bodies still lying in the streets.
    Fires set by rioters raged across Osh, the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan, as triumphant crowds of ethnic-majority Kyrgyz men took control. Police or military troops were nowhere to be seen in the city of 250,000, where food was scarce after widespread looting and the few Uzbeks still left barricaded themselves in their neighborhoods.
    The rampages spread quickly to Jalal-Abad, another major southern city 45 miles (70 kilometers) from Osh, and its neighboring villages, as mobs methodically set Uzbek houses, stores and cafes on fire. Rioters seized an armored vehicle and automatic weapons at a local military unit and attacked police stations around the region trying to get more firearms.
    Some refugees were fired on as they fled to Uzbekistan. They were mostly elderly people, women and children, with younger men staying behind to defend their property.
    Many of the more than 75,000 refugees arrived with gunshot wounds, the Uzbekistan Emergencies Ministry said, according to Russian reports.
    "We saw lots of dead. I saw one guy die after being shot in the chest," said Ziyeda Akhmedova, an Uzbek women in her late 20s at one of several camps hastily set up in Uzbekistan along the border.
    She was among the first refugees to reach the border on Friday and said the Uzbek border guards were reluctant to let them in until an approaching Kyrgyz armored personnel carrier began firing. She had little hope of returning home soon.
    "Our houses have been burned down. I don't know how we will live, how we will talk to the people who shot at us," Akhmedova said.
    The United States, Russia and the U.N. chief all expressed alarm about the scale of the violence and discussed how to help the refugees. The U.S. and Russia both have military bases in northern Kyrgyzstan, away from the rioting; Russia sent in an extra battalion to protect its air base.
    Kyrgyz residents interviewed by AP Television News in Osh blamed Uzbeks for starting the rioting by attacking students and Kyrgyz women. Ethnic Kyrgyz from neighboring villages then streamed into the city to strike back, they said.
    But Maksat Zheinbekov, the acting mayor of Jalal-Abad, told the AP that the true instigators were supporters of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev who attacked both Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, the ethnic majority, to incite broader ethnic violence.
    The interim government, which took over after Bakiyev was ousted by a public revolt in April, has been unable to stop the violence and accused Bakiyev's family of instigating it. Uzbeks have backed the interim government, while many Kyrgyz in the south have supported the toppled president.
    From his self-imposed exile in Belarus, Bakiyev denied any role in the violence and blamed interim authorities for failing to protect the people.
    Interim President Roza Otunbayeva's government had hoped to seal its political and democratic credentials in a referendum to approve a new constitution on June 27, but the likelihood of that vote taking place now looks slim.
    A government order for troops to shoot rioters dead failed to stop the spiraling violence. Police and the military appeared to be on the defensive across the south, avoiding clashes with mobs. Flights to both Osh and Jalal-Abad were canceled and the airports were closed.
    In Jalal-Abad on Sunday, thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metal bars and hunting rifles marched together to burn Uzbek property while frightened police stayed away. Uzbeks felled trees on the city's main street, trying to block their advance.
    Kyrgyz mobs tried to storm the city's hospital, but Uzbeks drove them off after a fierce gunbattle that raged for hours, witnesses said. Mobs also surrounded a local prison, trying to free its inmates, and attempted repeatedly to capture the Jalal-Abad police headquarters, but were repelled.
    Kyrgyz mobs killed about 30 Uzbeks on Sunday in the village of Suzak near Jalal-Abad, Talaaibek Myrzabayev, the chief military conscription officer in the capital, Bishkek, told the AP. Another Uzbek village, Dostuk, was burned by Kyrgyz assailants, but it was not known how many people were killed, he said.
    Ethnic Uzbeks ambushed about 100 Kyrgyz men Sunday on a road near Jalal-Abad and took them hostage, Myrzabayev said. Vehicles on the main highway near Jalal-Abad repeatedly came under fire from unidentified gunmen. Later in the day, troops were seen shooting at the gunmen.
    In the nearby village of Bazar-Kurgan, 400 Uzbeks overturned cars and killed a police captain, local resident Asyl Tekebayev said. Residents said armed Kyrgyz men were flooding into the village to retaliate.
    The official casualty toll Sunday rose to at least 104 people killed and 1,231 wounded, the Health Ministry said. The ministry said this included 21 dead in the main hospital in Jalal-Abad but not hospitals elsewhere in the region.
    The Red Cross said in a statement that the bodies its delegates saw being buried in Osh raise concerns that the dead are not being properly identified before burial. It said a plane carrying medical supplies and body bags landed in Osh on Sunday, and additional staff and supplies were to be sent in the coming days.
    The U.S. Manas air base in Bishkek is a crucial supply hub for the coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Manas was working with the U.S. State Department and interim government to help deliver food and medical supplies, said Air Force Maj. John A. Elolf, a spokesman at the base.
    Uzbekistan's Foreign Ministry condemned the riots and voiced hope that Kyrgyzstan will re-establish order. However, the country's authoritarian President Islam Karimov is unlikely to interfere in the conflict.
    Russia refused Kyrgyzstan's request for military help to quell the rioting, but confirmed it sent extra reinforcements Sunday to protect its base. A Pentagon spokesman said the interim government had not asked for any U.S. military help.
    In 1990, hundreds were killed in a land dispute between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Osh, and only quick deployment of Soviet troops quelled the fighting. With no Russian troops in sight this time, the interim government announced a partial mobilization of military reservists up to 50 years old.
    "No one is rushing to help us, so we need to establish order ourselves," said Talaaibek Adibayev, a 39-year-old army veteran who showed up at Bishkek's military conscription office.
    The fertile Ferghana Valley where Osh and Jalal-Abad are located once belonged to a single feudal lord, but it was split by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin among Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Stalinist borders rekindled old rivalries and fomented ethnic tensions.
    Kyrgyz and Uzbeks are both predominantly Sunni Muslim. Uzbeks are generally better off economically, but they have few representatives in power and have pushed for broader political and cultural rights. While Uzbeks make up only about 15 percent of the overall population, they rival Kyrgyz in numbers in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions.
    Kyrgyz in Osh blamed Uzbeks for starting the violence.
    "Why have the Uzbeks become so brazen?" said one Osh resident, who gave only her first name, Aigulia, because she feared for her safety. "Why do they burn my house?"
    Aigulia said her house was destroyed by Uzbeks overnight and all her Kyrgyz neighbors had to run for their safety. She said the area was still unsafe, claiming Uzbek snipers were shooting at them.
    A Kyrgyz man, Iskander, said he and others burned Uzbek property to avenge their attacks.
    "Whatever you see over there — all the burnt restaurants and cafes — were owned by them and we destroyed them on purpose," he told the AP. "Why didn't they want to live in peace?"
    Yuras Karmanau reported from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Associated Press Writers Leila Saralayeva in Bishkek and Sid Yanyshev in Namangan, Uzbekistan, also contributed to this report.
  6. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Mar 21, 2009
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    Russia sends troopers to Kyrgyzstan 'to protect Russian facilities'

    MOSCOW, June 13 (Xinhua) -- A battalion of Russian troopers have been sent to Kyrgyzstan to protect the Russian facilities in the Kant military base, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday.

    Three Ilyushin Il-76 military cargo aircraft, carrying humanitarian aids and the paratroopers from the 31st landing brigade of the Russian Air-Borne Force, have landed at the Russian air base on Sunday afternoon, a military source told Interfax.

    "The task of the battalion is to guard Russian military facilities and guarantee the security of Russian servicemen and their families," the source said.

    The battalion was transferred to Kant air base due to the aggravation of the situation in south Kyrgyzstan, he added.

    The paratroopers were armed with regular small arms and ammunition, and took the necessary food supplies, the source noted.

    Interfax has not obtained official confirmation of this information yet.

    more at:
  7. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Mar 21, 2009
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    Pakistan in contact with Kyrgyzstan to ensure safe evacuation of its citizens: FM

    ISLAMABAD, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday Pakistan is in contact with the Kyrgyz authorities to gain access to its citizens and ensure their safe evacuation.

    While talking to local media in response to the reports that one of the 15 Pakistani students abducted by unknown extremists in Kyrgyzstan was killed, the foreign minister confirmed the death of a Pakistani student in Kyrgyzstan, but said the reports that other 14 Pakistani students were abducted in Kyrgyzstan were not confirmed.

    "This is not authentic information. It is only hearsay which is natural in such a situation," said Qureshi, adding that all measures were being taken to protect the Pakistani community present in Kyrgyzstan and the Foreign Office is now in close contact with the Pakistani ambassador in Kyrgyzstan.

    The minister said, "Pakistani ambassador is in contact with Kyrgyz officials to get access to its Pakistani citizens. We have conveyed our concern to the Kyrgyz government and trying to contact the students in order to get them safely evacuated."

    He said about 1,200 to 1,500 Pakistani citizens, mostly students, were in Kyrgyzstan. Many students had returned to Pakistan due to summer vacations although some were staying there to take examinations, he added.

    The minister expressed sorrow over the death of a Pakistani student in Kyrgyzstan violence.

    The student killed in Kyrgyzstan is named Ali Raza who had been studying engineering in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh for the last four years. He came from the Jhang area of Punjab province in east Pakistan.

    Ali Raza is among the 82 people killed so far in the clashes between ethnic groups in Kyrgyzstan which broke out in the central Asian country a couple of days ago.
  8. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

    Feb 21, 2009
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    Indians stranded in Kyrgyzstan to be airlifted

    The ongoing violent clashes in Kyrgyzstan have left more than 100 Indian students stranded at various parts of the country.

    Out of them 80 have reached safely at the Osh city Airport and are set to take off for Bishkek.

    "The conditions are horrible here right now. However, I am trying my best to fly all Indian students safely to Bishkek," Dr Shaheer Khan, the official coordinator of Osh State University of Medical Faculty in Kyrgyzstan, told

    "As of now we have located the entire squad of Indian students and I ensure that they are all safe. The rest will be chartered shortly," he added from Osh Airport.

    The Government of India [ Images ] is also making arrangements to evacuate Indians stranded in the violence-hit areas where five days of rioting have claimed 113 lives.

    Indian diplomatic sources in the Kyrgyz capital said the mission is arranging for a special aircraft to fly out the Indians from Osh.

    "As soon the situation permits, the Indians will be flown out to safety," sources said.

    "Everything possible will be done to ensure the well being and safety of the Indians," the sources told PTI.

    The mission was in close touch with those trapped in the violence-hit city as well as with the concerned authorities in that country, including their foreign ministry, to ensure safety of the Indian community.

    They said the mission was also closely monitoring the situation in the nearby city of Jalalabad near the Uzbek border, where the authorities yesterday clamped a state of emergency till June 22 and clamped round-the-clock curfew.

    "Some Indians could also be there and attempts are being made to ascertain their welfare," sources said.

    Kyrgyz Health officials have put the casualties at 113 deaths, with as many as 1,400 people injured. However, Ferghanaru web site quoting its sources in the Uzbek dominated areas said "death toll runs in hundreds." It said that scores of dead bodies were lying on the streets of small towns, which have compact Uzbek population.

    The interim president Roza Otunbayeva has also conceded that the death toll could be higher than official figures as the interim government struggles to stem the worst ethnic clashes since the end of the Soviet Union.

    Interim Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva's provisional government had over the weekend given security forces shoot-to-kill orders to protect civilians, amid growing calls from foreign leaders and aid groups to end the clashes.
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Special planes to bring Pakistanis back from Kyrgyzstan

    SUKKUR / TOBA TEK SINGH/ ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said the government was in the process of sending special planes to bring back home the Pakistani students stranded in Kyrgyzstan.

    “There are some formalities and as soon as we are given clearance from the concerned country our planes would take off to bring back the students home,” he said.

    More than 269 Pakistanis, mostly medical students, were stranded in Kyrgyzstan where ethnic riots broke out between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks, leaving 113 dead and injuring hundreds others.

    Qureshi said the foreign ministry was trying its maximum to bring back the students to Pakistan.

    All Pakistanis have been asked to gather at the airport in Osh. The list of stranded Pakistanis had also been handed over to Kyrgyz authorities and the Kyrgyz government was providing full support in this regard.

    Three C-130 planes will take off any time on Monday to bring back Pakistanis trapped in Kyrgyzstan, government sources told DawnNews earlier.

    Foreign Minister Qureshi also denied reports suggesting that 10 Pakistani students had been taken hostage during ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan. He further said that some 30 to 40 students had reached to safer places in Osh.

    Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said the FO was in constant contact with Kyrgyz officials.

    “The Pakistani embassy in Bishkek is trying to gather all nationals toward the airport in Osh,” he added.

    Two Pakistani students were reportedly killed and at least 10 others were said to be taken hostage during the violence.

    Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan's Ambassador to Pakistan on Monday said only one Pakistani was killed in clashes.

    "According to our information, 200 Pakistani students are currently trapped in Kyrgyzstan," the ambassador said.

    Ubaidullah Ansari, a student of medical science at the Osh State University, who has returned to Jacobabad, told Dawn on Sunday that more than 500 Pakistanis were stranded in the Central Asian state.

    He said a female student of final year at a medical university and Ali Raza, a fourth-year student of engineering, were killed and more than a dozen others taken hostage in the south of Kyrgyzstan.

    Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Minister Qureshi said the government was in touch with Kyrgyz officials to gain access to Pakistanis and ensure their evacuation.

    “We have conveyed our concern to the Kyrgyz government and are trying to contact the students in order to get them safely evacuated.”

    Talking to PTV, Mr Qureshi said “our first priority is to ensure the safety of our brethren stranded there”.

    Mr Ansari said he and his friends had gone for a picnic to Uzgin, 30km from Osh, on June 8, as summer vacations had begun at their university on June 1.

    When they were returning to Osh on Thursday, they saw many buildings, shops and vehicles on fire and army personnel patrolling streets.

    They contacted their friends by phone and were advised not to enter the city.

    Mr Ansari said he and 14 other students hired taxis to reach Bishkek and took a flight of the Uzbek Airlines for Lahore.

    In reply to a question, he said the students had been instructed to carry their passports whenever they went out and their visas were valid till October.

    Ali Raza, the Pakistani student who lost his life, hailed from a village in Toba Tek Singh district.

    Abdul Qayum Jatt, his father, told reporters that Ali Raza was a final-year student of an engineering university in Osh city.

    Ali Raza was at his home when a mob belonging to an ethnic group shot him. Local people and Pakistanis tried to take him to a hospital, but he died on the way.

    Mr Raza’s parents live in Rehmat Colony, near Shorkot cantonment, where they own a cotton ginning factory.

    His father said he did not know when the body would arrive.

    Fida Hussain Jalalani of Khairpur, a fourth-year student at the Osh State University, urged the government to save the lives of Pakistani students.

    Agencies add:

    The foreign minister said that around 1,200 to 1,500 Pakistanis, mostly students, lived in Kyrgyzstan.

    Many of them had returned to Pakistan for summer vacations, but some had stayed back to take examinations, he said.

    Mr Qureshi said the situation in the Central Asian state was worrying and the Kyrgyz government appeared helpless.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The ambassador of Pakistan in Bishkek is in constant touch with Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani nationals in and around the city of Osh.

    “The embassy of Pakistan in Bishkek is maintaining close touch with Pakistani students in Osh. The ministry of foreign affairs will also take up the matter with the Kyrgyz embassy in Islamabad.”

    Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation had expressed concern over the situation and efforts were being made for holding a referendum in the country, which would be followed by elections, the foreign minister added.

    Trapped Indians:

    According to reports, over 100 Indians, mostly students, were also trapped in Osh.

    The Indian mission was in close contact with the trapped individuals as well as with the Kyrgyz foreign ministry and other concerned authorities to ensure their safety.

    Russian troops:

    Russia sent hundreds of paratroopers to Kyrgyzstan on Sunday to protect its military facilities, Interfax news agency reported, as ethnic clashes spread in the Central Asian state.

    The death toll from several days of fighting has risen to 113.
  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2010
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    ?impotency of SCO? no intervention ?
  11. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

    Feb 21, 2009
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    Its an internal matter of the country, and SCO is in no position to Intervene, they need to keep a mind of their own affairs. The Chinese had their Ughyur riots, did SCO Intervene? Same here, the State has to, otherwise if the State asks for Help, then only SCO can intervene! God Speed
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    troops can be send in only at the request of local govt. of Kyrgyzstan just as was in case of IPKF in srilanka.

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Is it possible the ethnic tensions were created to weaken SCO?? Especially with an expansion coming soon?
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    ^^may be possible.Last year there were also rumors of Uighur tensions being flared up by external powers/groups inimical to china
  15. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

    Feb 21, 2009
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    15 Pakistani students held hostage in Kyrgyzstan, one killed June 13, 2010

    A total of 15 Pakistani students were held hostage by extremists in Kyrgyzstan and one of them was shot dead, local media quoted the Foreign Office of Pakistan as saying on Sunday.

    A spokesman with the Foreign Office of Pakistan said the government is now in contact with the Pakistani ambassador in Kyrgyzstan and will help recover the students held hostage in Kyrgyzstan.

    Local sources told Xinhua the unidentified extremists sent a message to the Pakistani Embassy in Kyrgyzstan following their abduction of the 15 Pakistani students, threatening to kill them. One of the students killed is said from Punjab province in Pakistan.

    However, motives behind the abduction and other relevant details regarding the incident are not immediately known.

    Currently there are more than 100 Pakistanis in Kyrgyzstan, a central Asian country which is currently experiencing a serious internal turmoil.

    Source: Xinhua
  16. Parashuram1

    Parashuram1 Regular Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Geneva, Switzerland
    Oh dear, not Kyrgyzstan too!! I was under the impression that the Kirghiz government can do something about it, seems they don't have a government in place. I think that China should intervene and settle the matter. Russia has already dispatched a military unit to face any threat to Russian interests there.

    A Chinese military contribution coupled with a diplomatic approach from Beijing could have a positive effect in the tensed country.
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Has the U.S. given up on Central Asia?

    Posted By Steve LeVine Monday, June 14, 2010 - 3:38 PM Share

    What do you do when large-scale ethnic violence breaks out in a country where you have a key military base, but the local government can do nothing to stop it? When that country is situated in a region on which you have spent untold hours of diplomatic effort and hundreds of millions of dollars over an 18-year period, and staked a claim to a primary seat at the table of influence? Where matters like oil, the Taliban, narcotics and nuclear trafficking intersect? But all this happens while your military is stretched to the breaking point elsewhere, and, to be blunt, you have other fish to fry?

    You phone the Russians.

    That call -- as this blog reported yesterday, the Obama administration rejected an informal request for military assistance by Kyrgyzstan, and has been helping to coordinate an international response that, if it happens, will be led by Moscow -- is the latest example of a dramatic reversal of U.S. policy. Since 1991, U.S. policy in Central Asia and the Caucasus had centered on helping the eight-nation southern belt of the former Soviet Union achieve relative political independence from Russia.

    Critics already have accused Washington of selling out Georgia by pulling back from the George W. Bush administration's support of the country's eventual membership in NATO (here is an old Facebook page devoted to the topic). In general, such critics, including my Foreign Policy colleagues at Shadow Government, heap an old bromide on the latest administration in Washington: President Obama, they say, is soft on Russia. The openness to an active Russian military deployment on Kyrgyz soil -- Russia has a base in Kyrgyzstan, called Kant, but it doesn't carry out local operations -- is sure to invite a new round of table-pounding.

    But is the administration soft on Russia, or is it following a realistic new course given the geopolitical landscape, and the result of previous policies toward Vladimir Putin's entrenched government?

    The question arises because of the deaths of more than 100 people in an ethnic uprising in southern Kyrgyzstan since last Friday. Fueled by long-held tension between local Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, Kyrgyz gangs attacked and burned the homes and businesses of Uzbeks. Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva said government forces cannot control the violence, and appealed first for U.S., then Russian military assistance. Russia led a meeting today of a Moscow-dominated regional group called the Collective Security Treaty Organization, whose imprimatur Russia is seeking before agreeing to send troops.

    There's no doubting that deploying a Russian force in Kyrgyzstan is a gamble. As Joshua Kucera notes, Russia is renowned for going into countries, but not for leaving them. As I myself witnessed, when similar ethnic trouble erupted in Tajikistan in 1992, Russia's local 201st Motorized division sided with a southern clan attached to the city of Kulyab, and ousted the democratically elected government in Dushanbe; the 201st has been deployed to Tajikistan since the Soviet era, and remains highly influential in the country. In 2008, Russia technically withdrew from Georgia after the two countries went to war, but Moscow embraced declarations of independence by the two breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is building a considerable naval presence in the Abkhazian Black Sea port of Ochamchira. There are other examples.

    Yet the region itself has reacted pathetically to a situation that easily could spiral out of control. For instance, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization happened to be holding its annual summit Friday just over the border in Tashkent. For years, this grouping has attracted much nervous jawboning by those concerned about China's influence. Yet, handed one of its biggest chances in years to demonstrate a reason for its existence, SCO members punted. The group went home after basically suggesting that the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz undergo group therapy -- "dialogue and consultations by political and diplomatic means."

    Russia is guilty of mischief almost country by country in the former Soviet Union. And the longstanding U.S. policy was correct to help those countries carve out a measure of true independence. But the question is whether that policy does or ought to include the deployment of U.S. troops when matters get out of hand, as they predictably do in this part of the world. Should the U.S. have dispatched troops to Georgia in 2008, for instance?

    In the current situation, the Obama administration could have sent the rubber bullets requested by the Kyrgyz without repercussion. But, as with Georgia, should it have sent soldiers?

    Over at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Brian Whitmore reports out a level-headed piece in which Georgians say they don't feel sold out by Washington. Whitmore concludes, "Obama's reset with Moscow is a lot less frightening than all the alarmist punditry suggests."

    After 11 years living in the region myself, I realize it's a tough place. Yet I wonder: Why has Moscow bothered to consult with Washington about the topic if Kyrgyzstan is a decided Russian possession?

    The reason is that what the region has become since the Soviet collapse is what it's historically always been: one fought over, and shared, by numerous strong powers.
  18. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2010
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    The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) may act on Kyrgyz soon... It's wise China doesn't intervene becoz it's Russia's backyard.

    Again it proves China did a good job in Xinjiang not to allow it to evolve to another ???stan.

    Three flights take Chinese back home from Kyrgyzstan
    Updated: 2010-06-15 20:45 Comments(0) PrintMail Large Medium Small

    Passengers arrive at the Urumqi airport, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region from the violence-hit Kyrgyzstan by China Southern Airlines (CSA) chartered flight on June 15. [Photo/Xinhua]

    OSH, Kyrgyzstan - The third Chinese chartered plane landed in the airport of southern Kyrgyz city Osh on Tuesday afternoon to pick up Chinese nationals.

    The plane arrived at the airport at 2:42 pm local time to evacuate Chinese nationals living in southern Kyrgyzstan, where at least 170 people have died from violent clashes which began last Thursday.

    Related readings:
    75,000 Uzbeks flee ethnic riots in Kyrgyzstan
    15 students held hostage in Kyrgyzstan;1 killed
    Ethnic rioting spreads in Kyrgyzstan, with 80 dead
    Russia: No immediate troops to Kyrgyzstan

    Early Tuesday morning, two Chinese chartered planes carrying 195 Chinese nationals who were evacuated from Kyrgyzstan arrived at an airport in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

    The Chinese government dispatched the two Boeing 737-700 passenger planes late Monday to bring back Chinese nationals living in southern Kyrgyzstan.

    China hopes for peace, stability in Kyrgyzstan: FM

    China hopes the people of Kyrgyzstan will overcome the difficulties they face and realize peace, stability and development, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Tuesday.

    As a friendly neighbor, China is highly concerned by the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan, Qin said in a statement.

    The primary task for Kyrgyzstan is to normalize social order and restore social stability, Qin said.

    The death toll from the ethnic riots that began June 10 in southern Kyrgyzstan has risen to 170 while 1,762 have been injured, Kyrgyzstan's health ministry said Tuesday.

    The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a regional security group of former Soviet republics, said at a meeting Monday it will not rule out the use of any measures to normalize the situation in Kyrgyzstan.

    "China has taken note of the CSTO meeting on the Kyrgyzstan situation and understands the organization's efforts to preserve peace and stability in central Asia," said Qin.

    "China has offered emergency humanitarian aid to the country and we sincerely hope the people of Kyrgyzstan will overcome the difficulties they face," the spokesman said.

    China delivers aid to Kyrgyzstan

    Two planes carrying the first batch of humanitarian aid to violence-hit Kyrgyzstan landed in the airport of southern Kyrgyz city Osh on Tuesday afternoon.

    The 20-ton aid includes food, water, tents, medicine and medical equipment, said Bai Yufeng, an official from the Commerce Department of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

    A local official from the Kyrgyz interim government appreciated the emergency aid offered by China.

    China has sent three chartered planes to evacuate Chinese nationals living in southern Kyrgyzstan, where at least 170 people have died from violent clashes which began last Thursday.
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Second plane with remaining Pakistanis departs from Osh

    CHAKLALA/ISLAMABAD: A second plane carrying remaining Pakistani nationals stranded in violence-hit Kyrgyzstan departed from the Kyrgyz city of Osh on Tuesday, DawnNews reported.

    The special flight is also bringing the body of Ali Raza, a Pakistani student killed during ethnic clashes in Osh.

    Earlier, a PAF-C130 landed at Chaklala Airbase, bringing 134 Pakistani nationals including students from Osh, late Monday night, the Foreign Office said.

    The government on Monday decided to send three C-130 aircraft to Kyrgyzstan for bringing back the 269 Pakistani students stranded in that country after the outbreak of violence.

    Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, underlining the gravity of the matter, himself briefed legislators during a session of the National Assembly.

    The turmoil in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second largest city, has left at least one Pakistani student dead.

    The prime minister expressed concern over the plight of the students in Kyrgyzstan, assuring their families that the government would do its utmost to get them safely back home.

    He said the National Disaster Management Authority and the foreign ministry had been assigned the job of ensuring safe return of Pakistani students as well as bringing the body of Ali Raza from Osh.

    The three aircraft will be carrying seven tons of blankets and tents and another seven tons of food and medicines, on the request of the Kyrgyz government.

    Our Correspondent in Sukkur adds:

    As more than 200 Pakistani students were at Osh airport to board the C-130 aircraft on Monday night, about 300 others were awaiting evacuation from troubled areas of the city.

    Ambreen, a third-year medical student at the Osh State University, told Ubaidullah Ansari, who had returned to Jacobabad on Thursday from Kyrgyzstan, that she was at the airport and the plane had landed there.

    She said the conditions in Osh had deteriorated and the Kyrgyz army had taken the students to the airport.

    She said the Kyrgyz government was making efforts to shift the Pakistani students who were stranded in the city to safe places.

    She also confirmed the death of one Pakistani student, Ali Raza.

    The fate of a student of a medical university, Sumayya, could not be ascertained and efforts to contact her sisters Amna Ghaffar and Lubna Ghaffar at the Osh airport failed.

    Uzbek border:

    Uzbekistan ordered on Monday its frontier closed to an exodus of refugees fleeing deadly violence in Kyrgyzstan where government forces were accused of helping gangs slaughter ethnic Uzbeks. Bodies littered the streets of the southern Kyrgyzstan city of Osh where fresh gunfire rang out, and more fighting was reported in the nearby city of Jalalabad. Scores are reported killed in four days of clashes.

    With estimates of up to 100,000 people already inside Uzbekistan, the Central Asian state’s Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Aripov said the border would be shut, despite pleas from aid groups and the UN to leave it open.

    “Today we will stop accepting refugees from the Kyrgyz side because we have no place to accommodate them and no capacity to cope with them,” he said.
  20. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Repatriation of stranded Pakistanis top priority: FM

    ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday said repatriation of stranded Pakistanis in violence hit Kyrgyzstan was the top priority before the government and sincere efforts were made to bring back all these students to Pakistan.

    He was talking to newsmen at Chaklala Airbase, where he received a second batch of 130 Pakistani students who were brought back from Kyrgyzstan on a special air craft of the Pakistan Air Force.

    The foreign minister said President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani took keen interest and issued immediate orders for the measures to be taken for early repatriation of the Pakistanis.

    The minister said one C-130 plane brought 130 Pakistani students from Osh early Tuesday morning while another plane brought another batch of students today.

    The foreign minister said although some of the parents wanted their children moved to a safer place in Kyrgyzstan, due to the bad situation in the country, it was not possible to do so. As a result the government decided to bring back the stranded Pakistani students.

    He said the plane also took relief goods to distribute among the people rendered homeless by the ruthless clashes.
    Qureshi said Pakistan was one of the first countries, who made arrangements and its aircraft went to Osh, to take back its citizens who were stranded there.

    The C-130 plane also brought back the body of Pakistani student Ali Raza who was killed in these riots.

    He said the Foreign Office and the government of Pakistan is in contact with the Kyrgyzstan government for safe return of the remaining Pakistanis.

    He however said Pakistan's ambassador in Kyrgyzstan has also been directed to contact all the Pakistanis so that if they wanted to come back, the government will make necessary arrangements in this regard.

    He said Pakistan's Embassy in Bishkek is making efforts to gather all Pakistanis at one point to send them back from Osh Airport.

    The minister said initially the PAF has managed three C-130 planes for repatriation of stranded Pakistani and if needed, more planes could be managed.

    Qureshi said he is in contact with the parents of students studying in Kyrgyzstan.

    Replying to a question, the foreign minister said, priority was given to save the lives of the Pakistani students and added that due to timely efforts of the government, the students reached Pakistan safely.

    He said that all the students have been repatriated to Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan.

    The Foreign Minister said representatives of many countries are meeting in Moscow to review the situation in Kyrgyzstan.

    He said the staff of the Pakistani embassy in Bishkek are remaining there because the situation in the capital was not bad.

    He said when the situation in Kyrgyzstan will be improved, the government will discuss the issue of completion of the education of these students who came back without completing their education as they were in the final years of their education.

    The foreign minister said that according to the students, who arrived here today, there are no more stranded Pakistani nationals at Osh at the moment.
  21. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Stranded Indian runs into rude embassy official

    Bishkek: The Indian government claims it left no stone unturned to help Indians stranded in riot-hit Kyrgyzstan. The Indian embassy in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek may have helped the students but it perhaps needs a lesson in courtesy.
    A stranded Indian student made a phone call to the embassy, but an official refused to even listen to him and treated him rudely. The official rejected the man's plea when he told him that stranded students had no place to sleep in Bishkek. CNN-IBN has got exclusive access to the conversation in Hindi between the student and the embassy official.

    Student: We have been waiting for your help from yesterday. We have not had anything from last two days. If you haven't done anything to help then what can we do?
    Official: Come on! Did we not help you? Did you not get you out of there?
    Student: No, sir, you haven't helped us. Don't tell us that you fed us for free -- we want something substantial done.
    Official: Why don't you call after 10. The embassy will open at 10.
    Student: We had no place to sleep last night.
    Official: What I can do if you don't have a place to sleep?
    Student: Why has the Indian government kept you?
    Official: Indian government? I'll tell you why they have kept me -- tell me your name.
    Student: They have kept you to help us.
    Official: Yeah, yeah -- tell me your name at least.
    Student: Is this a way to talk, sir? You are asking my name in this tone.
    Official: Okay, tell me the name of all those whom I refused to help.
    Student: Sir, we are just requesting you to help us at least listen to us.
    The External Affairs Ministry denies allegations that it didn't do enough to help Indians in Kyrgyzstan. "Every single student was provided dinner last night (Monday) and breakfast this morning by the Indian embassy," it said in a statement.
    Agencies add 116 Indians evacuated trapped in the riot-hit former Soviet republic. The stranded Indians included 15 students in Jalalabad and 99 students, a professor and a businessman in Osh.
    In the worst ethnic violence in decades, at least 124 people have been killed and more than 1,685 wounded in southern Kyrgyzstan,

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