by Umer Sultan
Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country and an ally of the United States, is facing law and order situation in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh and Jalal-Abad.
The mob of ethnic Kyrgyzs, armed with guns and metallic rods stormed the city of Osh and Jalal-Abad, setting up the houses of the Uzbeks on fire, and looting and killing Uzbeks. Neither police nor the army has been able to control the situation. The Kyrgyz government requested military assistance from Russia, which is denied because of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Thousands of Uzbeks have fled to the border of Uzbekistan for safety are in presently in the no-mans-land waiting for the Uzbekistan government to give refuge.
In April 2010, the crowd under the leadership of the opposition coalition- United People’s Movement, stormed the capital Bishkek and overthrew the government, when the then President Bakiyev went into hiding. The details of this can be read here because this crisis is probably the coming back of the President in hiding.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev was in southern part of Kyrgyzstan when the Second Tulip Revolution took place in April. He went into hiding there and refused to accept the interim government. The interim government has accused the family of Bakiyev for instigating the riots and tension in order to halt a June 27 referendum on a new constitution.
Uzbeks — a minority in Kyrgyzstan as a whole but whose numbers rival the Kyrgyz in the south — have backed the interim government. Many Kyrgyz in the south have supported Bakiyev. The Associated Press 06/14/10
The interim government has arrested various people on the charges for instigating the riots in collaboration with Bakiyev, while in self imposed exile in Bilarus, Bakiyev has denied his involvement and has blamed the interim government for failing to control the situation.
While the blame game continues, foreign countries have started pulling their citizens out of Kyrgyzstan. Pakistani Air Force PAF C-130 brought 134 students to Pakistan from 269 stranded Pakistanis, while one Pakistani has died in the conflict named, Ali Raza (Dawn). China also brought its 195 nationals from Kyrgyzstan [Xinhuanet].
Sumaya, a surviving Pakistani who confirmed Ali Raza’s death along with 26 Kyrgyz citizens said:
“Right after the attack, we hid ourselves, and remained without any food and water for three days and nights. There was blood everywhere and the rioters were killing people without discrimination.” reported Daily Times
Uzbekistan has accepted thousands of ethnic Uzbek refugees from Kyrgyzstan, but it there are still 100,000 Uzbeks who were waiting at the border for entry into Uzbekistan, according to Jallahitdin Jalilatdinov, who heads the Uzbek National Center [AP 6/14/10 by Ilyasov & Merkushev].
According to this Associated Press report, some Uzbeks said that the rioters had the support of the military as they saw military armored carriers entering the city followed by organized gangs, and people getting sniped from a kilometer away.
“This was organized, they wanted to start a war.”
A war between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, a civil war. We are already in about the 3rd or the 4th day of the Kyrgyz Crisis, and things have only turned out to be worst. I hope that international community will do something to put an end to this massacre of ethnic Uzbeks. Uzbekistan should be given assistance by foreign countries so that Uzbekistan can allow more refugees into its borders.
The US State Department said the U.S. has committed $600,000 in immediate humanitarian assistance and identified an additional $200,000 in medical and emergency supplies that will be distributed [AP].
May Allah have mercy on the victims of this crisis. Ameen.