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West Africa Civil Society Institute Strengthening Civil Society


R2P ALERT: Stop Ethnic Cleansing in Kyrgyzstan NOW!!!

WACSI, based in Accra, Ghana has been closely monitoring the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan since its outbreak on 10 June 2010, and stand in solidarity with the victims. We are deeply concerned about the pattern of the violence and the deep ethnic divide that has led to targeted and indiscriminate killings, torture, rape, and destruction of mostly the ethnic Uzbeks.

The conflict has caused a catastrophic refugee crisis, displacing around 400,000 from their homes. Some 100,000 Uzbeks ethnic have taken refuge in Uzbekistan, and the border is now closed, thus, forcing many to return . Over 40,000 who fled the violence are without shelter, and given the destruction of hundreds of homes, many of the displaced have no shelter to return to even if their safety is assured.

Currently, there is no repatriation plan for the displaced. The instability in southern Kyrgyzstan cannot be over emphasized, and without a decisive international response there is considerable risk that widespread violence may reignite. The crisis could be more disastrous if ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks seek violent revenge for the past week of mayhem. The government of Kyrgyzstan has manifestly failed in its responsibility to prevent and halt these crimes and protect its populations against this violence and has called on the assistance of the international community for adequate assistance to restore peace and sanity.

Thus, we are using this medium to urge the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take immediate action to quell the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Kyrgyzstan, as it poses a great threat to international peace and security.

We request that the international community provide Kyrgyzstan government with all necessary support to rescue the humanitarian situation in a timely manner, as hundreds are already dead; thousands are brutally injured, and thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are left to their fate without assistance. Immediate security is required for humanitarian organizations/personnel to bridge the existing difficulties in offering humanitarian aid/relief.

Finally, we are using this opportunity to remind all parties of their decision and commitment at the "2005 World Summit" to ban either the incitement of ethnic cleansing, genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. Therefore, we urge for the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) in Kyrgyzstan NOW!.

Omolara Balogun (Ms.), Policy Advocacy officer, WACSI, Accra, Ghana

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