News / Asia

UN Human Rights Officials say Kyrgyzstan Violence Appears Coordinated

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan appears to have started last week with a coordinated attack. The fighting has killed at least 170 people and wounded nearly 2,000 others.

Geneva-based spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said there are strong indications the initial violence last Thursday was not spontaneous.

"The very first acts may well have been five simultaneous assaults by armed men. So that in itself shows some orchestration. And there also seems to be an intent to provoke reaction," said Colville.

One attack in Osh was carried out on a gym frequented by a criminal gang, according to Colville.

"So, it looks like very much like there was an intent to stir up major, major instability, which is indeed what happened," said Colville.

Kyrgyzstan's interim government is accusing loyalists of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of starting the unrest. Mr. Bakiyev, who is in exile in Belarus, denies links to the violence. And the U.N.'s Colville said it is too early to lay blame.

The unrest has deepened fault-lines between the country's ethnic Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities. U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Monday that indiscriminate killings and rapes appear to be taking place on the basis of ethnicity.

Tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks have fled to neighboring Uzbekistan. But the estimated 100,000 additional refugees trying to leave Kyrgyzstan Tuesday were left with nowhere to go, when the Uzbek government closed its borders.

World Food Program country director in Kyrgyzstan Rasmus Egendal is concerned that a build-up of people along the border could create a secondary crisis.

"The potential for disease, for malnutrition is much more prevalent if you have a population that doesn't have access to proper nutrition," said Egendal.

The United Nations' food agency has begun airlifting food to Osh and distributing it to hospitals and other government facilities treating victims of the violence. But Egendal described the security situation as perilous, complicating aid deliveries.

"It is extremely dangerous. You still have random shootings going on," said Egendal. "You have a tremendous tension between communities that makes it quite difficult to operate under safe conditions in the town itself.

Ex-Soviet states that make up the Collective Security Treaty Organization have proposed sending helicopters and equipment to help stop the violence. But there are no signs the Russian-led group will deploy peacekeepers, as Kyrgyzstan's interim president, Roza Otunbayeva, has requested.

Ms. Otunbayeva announced Tuesday that the country will go ahead with a constitution referendum as planned on June 27, despite the violence.

The United Nations and the European Union had urged Kyrgyzstan not to allow the unrest to derail the referendum, which many see as a path to a legitimate government.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid