Dismiss Notice
You are browsing this site as a guest. It takes 2 minutes to CREATE AN ACCOUNT and less than 1 minute to LOGIN

Russia says won't send troops to Kyrgyzstan

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Jun 13, 2010
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
    Messages: 38,538
    Likes Received: 2,808
    Trophy Points: 280
    Scores dead, hundreds wounded in ethnic rioting in central Asian nation

    [​IMG]D. Dalton Bennett / AP
    Ethnic Uzbeks gather near the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border in southern Kyrgyzstan on Saturday. Thousands fled to the border in panic as ethnic violence rose to the nation's highest level since the former president was toppled in April.
    [​IMG] View related photos

    [​IMG]
    Dozens killed
    June 11: The central Asian nation is under a state of emergency as ethnic tensions flare between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. TODAYshow.com's Dara Brown reports.

    TODAYshow.com
    OSH, Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyzstan granted shoot-to-kill powers to its security forces and appealed for Russia's help on Saturday to stop ethnic fighting, but the Kremlin refused to send troops. Nearly 70 people were reported killed and 945 wounded in the violence. The interim government of the former Soviet Republic decided at a late-night meeting to partially mobilize army reserves to combat the worst violence since the president was toppled in April.
    The government authorized security forces to shoot to kill in the southern regions of Osh and Jalalabad, where armed gangs have been burning down the homes and businesses of ethnic Uzbeks, ignoring curfews. Lethal force was permitted in areas where a state of emergency has been declared in order to defend civilians, in self-defense and in case of mass or armed attacks, the government said in a decree.
    "We need the entry of outside armed forces to calm the situation down," interim government leader Roza Otunbayeva told reporters earlier. "We have appealed to Russia for help and I have already signed such a letter for President Dmitry Medvedev."
    But Russia said now was not the time to intervene.
    "It's a domestic conflict, and Russia now doesn't see conditions for taking part in its settlement," Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said in Moscow without elaborating. She added in a statement that Russia will consult other members of a security pact of ex-Soviet nations on the possibility of sending a joint peacekeeping force to Kyrgyzstan.
    Timakova said the government would send a plane to Kyrgyzstan to deliver humanitarian supplies and help evacuate the victims of the violence.
    Kyrgyzstan hosts both U.S. and Russian military air bases, but they are in the north. Russia has about 500 troops there, mostly air force personnel, and would have to airlift more if it decides to help. The United States has the Manas air base in the capital, Bishkek, that is a crucial supply hub for the coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, but it was not known if interim government had asked for any U.S. military help.

    Much of central Osh was on fire Saturday, and the sky was black with smoke. Gangs of young Kyrgyz men armed with firearms and metal bars marched on minority Uzbek neighborhoods and set homes on fire. Stores were looted and the city was running out of food. 'We need outside forces'
    Thousands of terrified ethnic Uzbeks were rushing toward the nearby border with Uzbekistan. An Associated Press reporter there saw the bodies of children killed in the panicky stampede.
    "The situation in the Osh region has spun out of control," Otunbayeva told reporters. "Attempts to establish a dialogue have failed, and fighting and rampages are continuing. We need outside forces to quell confrontation."
    The unrest is the worst violence since former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was toppled in a bloody uprising in April and fled the country. It comes as a crucial test of the interim government's ability to control the country, hold a June 27 vote on a new constitution and go ahead with new parliamentary elections scheduled for October.
    Otunbayeva on Saturday blamed Bakiyev's family for instigating the unrest in Osh, saying they aimed to derail the constitutional referendum.
    Ethnic tensions have long simmered in the Ferghana Valley, split by whimsically carved borders among Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that were drawn up on Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's orders. In 1990, hundreds of people were killed in a violent land dispute between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Osh, and only the quick deployment of Soviet troops quelled the fighting.
    The official toll rose Saturday, the Health Ministry said. The real figures may be much higher because doctors and human rights workers said ethnic Uzbeks were too afraid to seek hospital treatment.
    CONTINUED1 | 2 | Next >

    Russia won't send troops to Kyrgyzstan - South and Central Asia- msnbc.com
     
Loading...