Kyrgyzstan: Provocateurs seen behind ethnic clashes

As reported, on June 10, clashes between the ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek population in the southern Kyrgyzstan have developed into a large-scale violence and further exodus of the Uzbeks residing in Kyrgyzstan.

Three days of pogroms have led to serious humanitarian disaster in the isolated conflict zone – the population still has limited access to telephony, electricity and food products after several nights of shooting and looting. There was a threat that the conflict could involve other regions of the Southern Kyrgyzstan, including Jalal-Abad (the former president Bakiyev's homeland), which is close to Osh, the place of initial unrest.

Currently, the situation is seemingly improving, after the Interim government introduced strict regime of emergency, empowering the army with the mandate to shoot the looters. Several provocateurs were detained and interrogated, among whom the officials identify “the former higher politician”, yet his name remains undisclosed so far. The patriarchs from both ethnic communities are meeting with the people and urging them to calm down and reconcile.

Investigation revealed that the alleged incidents, which resulted in clashes (beating or raping of a representative of one ethnos by a representative of another) were invented. Bloggers in the northern parts of the country collect food and clothes to send to their compatriots as a humanitarian aid, call on each other to refill the balance of cellphones of the Osh-based journalists, and simply can't keep their emotions, their posts being prayers for peace:

“I fell in love with this town once I got there. […] It was calm and spiritual, with so many kids playing right on the streets. Now it is ruined, and the people are killed…” sam-des writes, also posting a series of photos of the once peaceful Osh [ru].

Sabinareingold is scared that this may happen in the capital one day or another, as soon as Kyrgyzstan is very diverse ethnically [ru]:

I am afraid that provocateurs may some day stage the same in Bishkek. The country is in a desperate condition […]. I hate the provocateurs and those who followed them. I try to believe in the best, but I prepare for the worst. […] I cry and I mourn…

Morrire notes [ru]:

“There are very few trustworthy sources. Emotions are extreme, and I understand and share the fear of the defenseless people. […] There are a lot of provocateurs. Residents hear shooting all the time”. She adds: “As seen from the on-site reports, the situation is exacerbated intentionally”.

UlanMelisbek tweets, as many more other Kyrgyzstanis, numerous appeals to the confronting sides [ru]:

Neither Kyrgyzs, nor Uzbeks are to be blamed for the bloodshed. It's the Bakiyev's fault, and let them be damned.

Azamatrix urges:

STOP talking about ‘ethnic clashes’. It's groups of BANDITS killing both Uzbeks and Kyrgyz!

Apart from separate online-voiced versions of the conflict's roots blaming CIA or Russia and Uzbekistan, the main version is that the provocation was set up by the previous power, especially after former president Bakiyev two months ago vowed to “drown the country in blood”:

“It is obvious that somebody is manipulating the situation in an attempt to cause a clash between the Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs. It looks like there are Bakiyev's people behind this provocation, which threw a big part of the country in chaos”, writes Foto-nebo [ru].

Several hours ago it became known [ru] that among the leaders of the provocateurs, detained in Jalal-Abad, there was one of the closest allies of ex-president Bakiyev and another one is, probably, his nephew. Another piece of news arrived from London – Maksim Bakiyev, son of the fled dictator and former Kyrgyz tycoon – has been arrested after a top secret swoop by the UK Border Agency.

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