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International commission to probe Kyrgyz violence

Last updated on: July 23, 2010 01:13 IST

A transatlantic international commission will conduct a probe into the ethnic violence against Uzbek minorities in south Kyrgyzstan that killed 2,000 people and left at least 4,000 displaced.

The probe, which will begin this August, will be conducted by the representatives of Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, United Nations, European Union and Commonwealth of Independent States, OSCE said on Thursday.

RIA Novosti quoted Kimmo Kiljunen, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Special Representative for Central Asia, "We have already started work on forming a commission so that the international investigation can begin in August."

Kiljunen said Kyrgyz President Rosa Otunbayeva has agreed on the format of the commission.

"We will draw up a number of recommendations outlining what should be done to avoid a re-occurrence of such events," Kiljunen, a Finnish lawmaker, said.

In mid-June, inter-ethnic clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs broke out in south the nation, which officially resulted in 300 deaths, but even Otunbayeva conceded that as many as 2,000 people could have been killed.

Over 100,000 refugees took shelter in neighbouring Uzbekistan and over 3 lakh were said to be internally displaced. Kiljunen hoped that funding for the would come from the governments of many countries and a separate fund will be be set up for witness protection.

The OSCE also agreed to deploy a Police Advisory Group in Kyrgyzstan to help reduce inter-ethnic tensions and strengthen local police forces, a statement published on the agency's website said.

Meanwhile, the authorities on Wednesday arrested Ahmet Bakiyev, brother President Kurmanbek Bakiyev who was ousted by a public revolt in April, in the southern city of Jalalabad. Ahmet Bakiyev has been charged with violence against the anti-government protesters in Bishkek on April 7, which led to the ouster of his elder brother, who since then has taken refuge in Belarus, Rossiya 24 TV reported.

He is also suspected of inciting ethnic clashes in Osh and Jalalabad. The interim government, which took over after Bakiyev, was unable to stop the violence and has accused the former President's family of instigating it.

Uzbeks have backed the interim government, while many Kyrgyz in the south have supported the ousted nation head.

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