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Refugees Return to Kyrgyzstan as Violence Still Looms

Friday, June 18, 2010

The New York Times reports:

Uzbek women began ferrying their children through coils of barbed wire on Friday, back to Kyrgyzstan from neighboring Uzbekistan a week after ethnic bloodshed uprooted some 400,000 people. Their arrival was one sign that the humanitarian crisis was stabilizing.

But they returned to an altered nation — to destroyed homes guarded by the men they left behind in barricaded Uzbek enclaves still seething at the government and their ethnic Kyrgyz neighbors.

Despite Ms. Otunbayeva’s contention that the government stopped the violence, it was widely seen to be weak and helpless as the violence broke out, unable to control even members of its own military, accused by many witnesses of carrying out atrocities. Ms. Otunbayeva did not mention whether she would support a wide-ranging inquiry into the causes of the violence, for which the government has blamed — though in vague terms — the deposed president, Kurmanbek S. Bakiyev.

The Irish Times reports that up to 2,000 people may have been killed since the violence started a few weeks ago.


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