Over 100,000 Uzbeks Flee Kyrgyzstan

Violence in South Lingers as Interim Govt Seeks Military Aid

The number of Uzbeks that have fled violence in southern Kyrgyzstan has topped 100,000 today, with Red Cross workers warning that the crisis is far from over.

As anti-government protests in the southwestern portion of the nation have continued to rise, violence has turned largely against the Uzbeks. At least 140 have been reported killed and over 1,800 wounded, though reliable figures are impossible to come by and local human rights workers suggested the death toll could be far higher.

The Kyrgyz government has continued to request foreign aid, primarily from Russia but also from several other former Soviet states, in helping to crush the protests. Though such aid may be forthcoming, it appears unlikely that it will do anything but add to the conflict.

The protests started in the city of Osh, but now reports are that the nearby town of Jalal-Abat is in even worse shape, and that ethnic Kyrgyz gangs are attacking Uzbeks and burning their homes throughout the region.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.