Ethnic tensions hindering aid work in Kyrgyzstan: UN

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 23:05

Geneva: Inter-ethnic tensions in southern
Kyrgyzstan are hindering the work of humanitarian agencies,
the UN said on Tuesday, as it stepped up its relief work to 400,000
refugees and displaced in the region.

"The situation remains tense in Kyrgyzstan. Security is
still not absolute, notably in Osh, where barricades remain,"
said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
"This question of insecurity and tension has made (aid)
distributions difficult, humanitarian operations are hindered
even though the UN and its partners are increasing the scale
of their assistance," she said.

According to the spokeswoman, more than 30 aid planes
have arrived in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan since the beginning
of ethnic clashes this month in Kyrgyzstan between the Kyrgyz
majority and Uzbek minority.

Up to 2,000 people have been killed in the violence,
according to Kyrgyz authorities.

Another plane will leave Geneva tomorrow, said Byrs.

The UN is ensuring that both the Kyrgyz and Uzbek
communities are receiving help, said Byrs, noting that aid
agencies are facing a problem of winning the confidence of the
population.
The World Health Organisation also said that "providing
medical aid to Uzbek or Kyrgyz communities along the border
with Uzbekistan is a particular challenge."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 23:05

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