International Crisis Group warns against new violence in Kyrgyzstan
The Kyrgyz government should take prompt measures to avoid "another explosion" in the country's south where the situation remains strained following recent interethnic riots, the International Crisis Group said in its latest report.
According to the report, entitled "The Pogroms in Kyrgyzstan," a new wave of violence is possible in Kyrgyzstan if the country's authorities fail to regain control over the turbulent south, where up to 300 people died in June's clashes, according to official estimates, RIA Novosti reported.
"The violence and pogroms of June have further deepened the gulf between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks", Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group's Central Asia Project Director, was quoted as saying in a press release. "If this problem remains unaddressed, another explosion is only a matter of time, and in the next outburst, the victimized party could look to Islamist radicals for help, or violence could spread to other ethnic groups - Russians, Uighur, Tatar or Dungan."
The International Crisis Group's experts called on the Kyrgyz government to support a "full, open and internationally backed enquiry" into the pogroms and take a "strong public stand against positions of extreme nationalism by prominent national and regional politicians."
"The forces that stand behind the violence have not yet been fully identified. This is unlikely to happen without an exhaustive and professional international investigation," the report said.
"Though the government blames external elements, including Islamic militants, the pogroms in fact involved many forces, from the remnants of the Bakiyev political machine to prominent mainstream politicians and organized crime, especially the narcotics trade," it said.
The organization said the international community should "play a more forthright role than usual" in restoring peace in Kyrgyzstan, particularly, by engaging in "a long-term program of police reform and training, sweeping reforms of the judiciary and legal system."