United Nations: The UN on Wednesday asked the
Kyrgyzstan`s interim government to ensure protection to
minorities, warning of an "ethnic cleansing" in the country
where hundreds of people have been killed and thousands
injured in clashes between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities in
less than a week.
"The pattern and scale of the violence, which has
resulted in the mass displacement of Uzbeks from south
Kyrgyzstan, could amount to ethnic cleansing," said Edward
Luck, UN Special Adviser.
Francis Deng, UN Special Adviser for the Prevention of
Genocide, underlined the need for ensure the protection of
vulnerable minority communities.
"I encourage the Interim Government and international
actors to do all in their power to stop the violence and
ensure the protection of vulnerable minority communities,"
The Special Advisers have been monitoring the
situation in Kyrgyzstan closely since April 2010, when the
ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev brought ethnic tensions
to the surface, particularly between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek
communities in the south of the country.
The clashes that erupted in Osh and Jalalabad regions
between Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups have so far claimed at least
179 lives and injured thousands since June 10.
The violence exploded Friday in Osh when ethnic Kyrgyz
gangs began attacking the shops and homes of ethnic Uzbeks,
igniting tensions between the two dominant groups in the
region that have simmered for a generation.
Tens of thousands of people have sought refuge in
camps in neighbouring Uzbekistan, which could soon lead to a
humanitarian crisis due to inadequate resources and supplies.
"Some humanitarian assistance has already been
delivered but UN agencies and NGOs need to build up their
capacity. It is essential that the safety and security of
humanitarian staff is assured so that we can reach all those
in need," John Holmes, top UN humanitarian operations official
"It is also vital that the border with Uzbekistan
remains open. We welcome Uzbek generosity to those crossing
the border and hope that this can continue," he added.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) launched an
emergency operation to provide logistics and feed civilians.
It called on all sides to allow the unimpeded delivery of
humanitarian supplies, particularly in the country`s second