OSCE calls for international police force in Kyrgyz south

Violence in Kyrgyzstan has raised concerns in Russia and the United States.

Bishkek: An international police force may be needed to restore stability in southern Kyrgyzstan after the ethnic bloodshed that has killed hundreds and sparked a wave of refugees, an OSCE official said on Wednesday.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is leading talks with EU foreign ministers on beefing up security in the strategic Central Asian state, said Kimmo Kiljunen, special envoy for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

"What I think would be really useful would be to have a certain international police operation to offer technical advice, and maybe the presence of international police here. That would create an atmosphere of trust," he told reporters.

He said EU foreign ministers were already discussing the option of using police to help deal with the crisis. But the European Union said that while it was boosting its delegation in Kyrgyzstan, it had no immediate plans to contribute police.

"At this stage we are just reinforcing our delegation to make sure there is enough expertise on the ground," said a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Violence in Kyrgyzstan has raised concerns in Russia and the United States, which both operate military bases in the country, that the turmoil could spread to other parts of Central Asia.

In a sign of the growing international concern about the crisis, the UN Security Council was scheduled to hear a briefing on the situation in Kyrgyzstan from UN assistant secretary-general Oscar Fernandez-Taranco on Thursday.

The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Russia-led grouping of former Soviet republics, will send its secretary general, Nikolai Bordyuzha, to Kyrgyzstan on Friday.

The CSTO said in a statement a working group would evaluate the situation in south Kyrgyzstan and assist in law enforcement.

Bureau Report

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