June 18, 2010
About the briefing in Tashkent on the events in southern Kyrgyzstan
Information Agency “Jahon” -On June 15, 2010 a briefing was held at the UN Office in Tashkent for the representatives of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, foreign and national media, in order to inform them on the situation of refugees from Kyrgyzstan, as well as the measures being taken by the Government of Uzbekistan to provide them with necessary assistance.

The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov presented detailed information about the situation in the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan. It was particularly emphasized that the events occurring there were of a large-scale and unprecedented nature, characterized by an extreme cruelty and evaluated by many observers as a massacre, ethnic cleansing and genocide. The mass slaughter has acquired an organized nature, what was recognized by the Interim Government of Kyrgyzstan itself.

At that, the Interim Government of Kyrgyzstan demonstrated an absolute helplessness before the actions of bandits. There is no doubt that the third party stands behind the events in Kyrgyzstan as evidenced by the presence of a large number of weapons, the use of mercenaries and professional snipers. The special cartridges are used, which allow to set fire to houses from a long distance.

Currently, the number of refugees accounts for more than 75 thousand people. The Government Uzbekistan provides them with necessary assistance – in the course of the first three days for this purpose was spent more than 1.5 billion soums (about 1 million US dollars).

Uzbekistan continues to provide assistance to refugees, but their number is growing. Taking into account serious difficulties, the Uzbek Side has sent official appeals to the UN Secretary-General and other international organizations in order to bring in the humanitarian aid.

Unfortunately, currently the purposefulness of humanitarian aid from international organizations is not ensured, as it is mainly accumulated in Bishkek.

The cruelty in the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan with regard to the Uzbek community was reaffirmed by representatives of such international organizations as the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who have eye-witnessed everything that happened.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Anita Nirodi expressed a serious concern of the UN system over the developments in southern Kyrgyzstan, which resulted in tens of thousands of people being forced to save their lives by fleeing into the territory of Uzbekistan.

She noted that the UN highly appreciated the quick and decisive actions taken by the Government of Uzbekistan to assist the people crossing the border of the country and secure their humanitarian needs.

A.Nirodi also informed about her visit together with the heads of UNICEF and WHO, to the border zone and several camps in Andijan, the huge number of refugees, mostly women and children, crossing the border, the wounded, who are being treated in the hospitals in Andijan Region.

She stressed that the Government of Uzbekistan is providing humanitarian support to the refugees staying in many camps that have been deployed within a few hours. At the same time, the refugees continue to cross the border.

Regarding participation of the UN, A.Nirodi cited the following data:

-the UNICEF sent 7 cargo containers loaded with basic items: kitchenware, blankets, hygienic sets, water containers, and others;

-the UN Office of High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offered a humanitarian assistance which was accepted by the Government of Uzbekistan;

-the WHO sent 3 cargo containers with blankets, and will render medical assistance;

-the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Food Program consider ways of rendering assistance. Two staff members of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs are expected to arrive for assessing proposals on financing.

The Head of the UNICEF Representation Jean-Michel Delmotte informed that he has been on the border jointly with A.Nirodi and other colleagues, where he had an opportunity to see refugees crossing the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, among whom there were mainly women and children.

The Head of UNICEF representation also commended the efforts of Uzbekistan to support the refugees. “During my visit to the border I have witnessed that refugees received all necessary assistance from Uzbekistan, namely – safety, shelter, food etc., which is very important to support the refugees at the moment”, - he said.

Further he noted that some of the refugees were able to capture on photo and video the atrocities taking place in the city of Osh. All this is going to be a strong psychological trauma for the people.

According to him, now 9 employees of UNICEF are in Andijan in order to assist on site. The large flow of refugees will be a burden for Uzbekistan to provide them with all necessary assistance.

He added that the number of refugees was much greater than imagined and the UNICEF hoped that they would be provided with timely international help. As a manifestation of solidarity, he has cited the example of financial assistance of the US Embassy in Tashkent.

The WHO Representative Michel Tailhades highly appreciated the “well-elaborated and highly organized” measures of Uzbekistan in terms of providing medical and socio-psychological assistance to the refugees from Kyrgyzstan. “We have seen how the Uzbek Side selflessly provides medical assistance to the refugees. However, the stocks of the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan are running out. Therefore, it is necessary to consider steps to provide a long-term assistance to the refugees”.

“I was astonished by the terrible picture when two young ladies crossed the border, who were brutally raped by a group of bandits. After that the whole meaning of their future life is lost”, - he said. According to him, there are 25 such cases, which means that the rape cases are numerous. In this respect, the Head of the WHO Representation stressed the need to ensure rule of law in Kyrgyzstan.

M.Tailhades has underlined once again the importance of strengthening the international assistance to Uzbekistan.

During the briefing the participants were given video and photo materials depicting cruel murders of representatives of the Uzbek community by bandit groups in Kyrgyzstan.


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