Ethnical Unrest in the South of Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan unrest

Image Source: RIA Novosti

There are renewed riots in Kyrgyzstan, however this time the reason is not political but ethnical. The latest news speaks of  118 death and over 1,600 injured. From RIA Novosti:

BISHKEK, June 14 – RIA Novosti, Yulia Orlova. More than 1,6 thousand people have been injured since the beginning of unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan, over 118 killed, said the head of the press center of the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan Elena Bayalinova to RIA Novosti on Monday.

In Osh, the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan,  three days of continuing ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, accompanied by pogroms and the burning houses. Both sides were armed with firearms. Yesterday, the unrest spread to the neighboring Jalal-Abad region of the republic. In these regions of the country a state of emergency was declared.

Many Uzbeks have fled to neighbouring Uzbekistan. Again, RIA Novosti:

MOSCOW, June 14 – RIA Novosti. More than 60 thousand refugees from riots in Kyrgyzstan are currently in the Uzbek city of Andijan, said AFP on Monday, referring to the statement of representatives of the Uzbek Ministry of Emergency Situations.

“According to our preliminary data, in all there are 60,000 refugees in the area of the region of Andijan” – the representative of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Uzbekistan Andijan Izzat Ibragimov was quoted as saying.

According to him, the number of refugees is determined by the number of adult men and women, the children are not counted.

According to AKIPress, the night from Sunday to Monday was quiet in Osh:

The last night was calm in the city of Osh. As the correspondent of AKI reported, about 50 veterans of intelligence service arrived from Bishkek in the city. Also, about 100 veterans were sent to the city of Jalal-Abad.

The shooting in the city of Osh has stopped.

Ethnical unrest is nothing new in this region. There have been tensions between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks before, however, the latest spat seems to have its roots in the recent deposal of the former President Kurmanbek Bakiev. The south of Kyrgyzstan is a stronghold of the Bakiyev clan and he still has strong support there, while the Uzbhek where and are supporting the provisional government of Rosa Otunbaeva. There is now some suspicion that Bakiyev was behind those clashes. From Kabar:

Kabar, 12 by June 2010.  The Deputy Chairman of the Provisional Government, Beknazarov, does not exclude the participation of the Bakiyev family in the organisation of unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan, the deputy chairman of the PG told state television and radio (NTRC) today.
According to A. Beknazarov, by organising mass unrest and ethnic strive, “the Bakiyev family is trying to destabilize the situation in the country. According to some sources, a number of organisers of the conflict is now still in Osh. Work is underway to identify and apprehend them.