The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has announced the deployment of a small team of police advisers to Kyrgyzstan, in response to the widespread reports from ethnically Uzbek Kyrgyzstani civilians of police and military abuse by Kyrgyz Kyrgyzstanis over the past few months in southern Kyrgyzstan. From the OSCE press release:
The agreement [with Kyrgyzstan’s government] said the group would comprise 52 [unarmed] police officers with the possibility to send an additional 50 officers at a later stage. The group would be in Kyrgyzstan for four months, with a possibility to extend as needed and agreed.
“The tasks of this mission is first of all advising the Kyrgyz police. The Police Advisory Group will have contact with all parts of the population in southern Kyrgyzstan,” Salber said. “They will be assisting and also monitoring the Kyrgyz police. They will accompany them in their work with the communities there with the objective of strengthening the confidence in this area, in particular between the police and the population.”
These monitors would, best case scenario, serve to deter further abuses or acts of genocide against the Uzbek population while they are present. Sadly, it likely won’t be enough… After all, one of the worst atrocities during the Bosnian War happened in front of 400 United Nations peacekeepers inside sanctuary zones, but the rules of engagement, lack of supplies, and ratio of combatants to peacekeepers prevented intervention. But I guess this is better than nothing.
This post originally appeared on Starboard Broadside.