News

    Washington Ponders UN Action on Uzbekistan

    The Bush administration said Thursday it may seek action at the United Nations to prod Uzbekistan's government into heeding calls for an international investigation of last month's violence in city of Andijon. Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed by security forces in the May 13 events, which the group Human Rights Watch has labeled a massacre.

    The United States has been calling for an international investigation of the Andijon killings, and amid continued resistance to the idea by Uzbek authorities, U.S. officials say they may take the matter to the United Nations.

    The violence has been a source of political discomfort for the Bush administration, which has forged close anti-terrorism ties with the Uzbek government and used a key air base there to support U.S. operations in Afghanistan.

    This week a bipartisan group of six U.S. Senators, in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, urged the administration to reconsider its relationship with the Uzbek government of President Islam Karimov because of the Andijon events.

    At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack acknowledged receipt of the letter and said the department basically shares the concerns of the Senators.

    He said the United States wants a credible, transparent and independent investigation of what happened last month and stands ready to take part in it, along with Uzbek authorities and other international partners. He said U.S. diplomacy in pursuit of that aim now includes soundings at the United Nations.

    "We are considering all of our diplomatic options, including at the U.N. We are pleased that representatives of the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights will be returning to the refugee camp in Kyrgystan to assess the situation there," he noted.  "And in the meantime, we're talking to member states of various international organizations to try to generate support for an international investigation. We've been calling for this for some time."

    Mr. McCormack said the United States spurned an invitation to be party to an investigation by the Uzbek parliament because it did not see such a probe as a substitute for an international inquiry.

    The spokesman also said U.S. officials are concerned Uzbek authorities may be trying to silence human rights activists and journalists looking into the Andijon events through arrests and intimidation.

    A senior State Department official who spoke to reporters on terms of anonymity would not say if the administration might seek U.N. Security Council action on Uzbekistan, but said no options are being precluded.

    He said the administration was putting no deadline on its call for an international investigation but also said the effort to get one is not open-ended.

    Human Rights Watch, in its report earlier this week, said considerably more people were killed in Andijon than the 173 acknowledged by the Uzbek government.

    It said that based on eyewitness accounts, Uzbek troops used rifle and machine gun fire to crush a mass protest that grew out of a brief revolt by armed anti-government elements who seized a prison and released the inmates.

    According to the New York Times, the U.S. Senators - four Republicans and two Democrats - cautioned the administration against entering into a long-term base agreement with an Uzbek government, that in their words, brutally represses its people.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.