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OSCE to Send Police to Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan President Roza Otunbayeva meets with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (L) and German Foregin Minister Guido Westerwelle (R) during a two-day informal meeting with top officials from 56 OSCE states, Bishkek, 16 July 2010

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, says it will send 52 police officers to monitor the situation in southern Kyrgyzstan, the site of last month's deadly ethnic violence.

Top officials from 56 OSCE states discussed the deployment and other support for Kyrgyzstan Friday at the start of a two-day informal meeting in the Kazakh city of Almaty.

Officials say the small group of police advisors will help local law enforcement agencies restore public order in southern Kyrgyzstan.

An estimated 2,000 people were killed when clashes broke out between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the cities of Osh and Jalalabad on June 10. Some 400,000 people fled the violence.

On Friday, the United Nations refugee agency said some 75,000 people remain displaced in the south, unable to return home due to insecurity, a lack of shelter, and the loss of personal documents such as passports and birth certificates.

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch said Uzbeks were being disproportionately arrested and tortured in detention as part of a government drive to investigate and punish those responsible for the ethnic violence.

The interim government led by President Roza Otunbayeva has struggled to maintain stability in Kyrgyzstan since taking power following the deadly April 7 uprising that ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.