Probe Kyrgyz violence, Uzbek leader says

Sept. 22, 2010 at 1:46 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The United Nations is called on to aid an independent investigation into ethnic violence in June in southern Kyrgyzstan, the Uzbek president said.

The interim government in Kyrgyzstan accuses ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of stoking ethnic tensions in the south of Kyrgyzstan, his former stronghold. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands were displaced in conflicts between the Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities following an April coup.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov in his address to the U.N. General Assembly said insecurity in southern Kyrgyzstan threatens to destabilize Central Asia. June violence, he added, was the result of "a deeply thought-out and well-organized action on the part of the third forces."

Roza Otunbayeva, the interim Kyrgyz president, received the praise from the international community for working to pass a measure that paves the way for a parliamentary government in Bishkek. She said she would cancel the election scheduled for October if ethnic violence flared up in the south, however.

Karimov, for his part, said his country "rightfully" expected the United Nations to provide assistance to any independent investigation into the ethnic conflict.

"Any deviation from these positions may lead to the situation when the tragic events can repeat again and the emergence of a very dangerous source of tension in the south of Kyrgyzstan," he warned.

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