Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kyrgyz and Uzbeks Kinning Each Other

MARKHAMAT, June 12: Kyrgyzstan imposed a state of emergency in a second southern city as its interim leader warned ethnic violence was spiralling “out of control” and asked Russia to send in troops.

Interim President Roza Otunbayeva appealed to Moscow to intervene militarily after at least 75 people were killed and 977 wounded, according to the health ministry, in nearly three days of unrest.

“Since yesterday the situation has got out of control. We need outside military forces to halt the situation. For this reason we have appealed to Russia for help,” said Ms Otunbayeva in a TV address.

But while Moscow said it was rushing humanitarian aid to the former Soviet Central Asian republic, a spokeswoman for President Dmitry Medvedev said it would not yet send troops.

“This is an internal conflict and Russia does not yet see the conditions for its participating in resolving it,” Natalya Timakhova was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying. A decision to dispatch peacekeepers could be taken only after consultations with the UN, she added.

The provisional government is struggling to halt a descent into civil war between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the south of the country.

The second state of emergency in the city of Jalalabad was necessary because “instability is spreading,” Deputy Interim Minister Azimbek Beknadzarov declared on TV.

Thousands of Uzbek women and children fled to the nearby border with Uzbekistan, raising the spectre of a humanitarian crisis.—AFP

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