Things were calmer today as the provisional government and Kyrgyzstan military re-took control of some areas for the first time in days, but United Nations investigators are already suggesting that there is evidence that the ethnic violence against Uzbeks by the ethnically Kyrgyz rioters was planned, systematic, and coordinated. As I had said the other day, that could mean there is an ethnic violence or genocide campaign afoot. Reportedly, already over 100,000 Uzbek civilians have fled to refugee camps inside Kyrgyzstan or across the border in Uzbekistan proper, and at least a hundred have been killed in the “riots” that targeted/looted/burned/raided Uzbek neighborhoods, stores, and buildings in the multi-ethnic cities of Osh and Jalabad.
Relief planes with medical and food supplies began arriving today to help non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross to fulfill needs in the refugee camps, in what has been rapidly deemed a serious humanitarian crisis.
The provisional government said it has withdrawn its request for Russian peacekeeping troops, although I am unclear on why they feel they have definitively reversed the situation. Russia was still debating the matter internally and before the Collective Security Treaty Organization, in any case. Also earlier today, deposed president Kurmanbek Bakieyev was spotted and “detained” in London, prompting Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government (which replaced him after the popular coup in April) to request his formal extradition on charges of allegedly fomenting the ethnic violence and other attempts to regain power. No word yet on whether Britain will comply.
This post originally appeared at Starboard Broadside.