[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
UN launches Kyrgyzstan aid appeal
Rapid response from donors urged amid allegations of outside involvement in unrest.
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2010 12:28 GMT


Al Jazeera's Clayton Swisher follows the interim president on her visit to the devastated south

The United Nations has appealed for $71 million in humanitarian aid for Kyrgyzstan, where more than 400,000 people have been displaced by deadly fighting.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the appeal would provide aid to nearly 1.1 million people affected by the violence in the south of the Central Asian nation.

Fighting between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks has killed at least 200 people since it erupted a little over a week ago.

"I have been shocked by the extent of the violence and appalled by the deaths and injuries, widespread arson, sexual violence, looting of state, commercial and private property and destruction of infrastructure," John Holmes, the OCHA head, said on Friday.

"I therefore urge all donors and supporters to ensure that this flash appeal for Kyrgyzstan receives a generous and rapid response."

Low on supplies

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has said there are shortages of food, water and electricity in the violence-hit areas.

"Hospitals and other institutions are running low on medical supplies," he said.

An aid appeal for neighbouring Uzbekistan, where about 100,000 refugees have taken shelter, would be launched next week, Ban said.

IN DEPTH

 

  Q&A: Kyrgyzstan's ethnic violence
  Gallery: Humanitarian crisis
  Inside Story: Days of violence
  Videos:
  Violence and grief in Osh
  Interview with Otunbayeva
  UN: Unrest was planned
  Army accused of murder

His comments came amid reports that Kyrgyzstan troops are heading towards an Uzbek barricade in the southern city of Osh.  

Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker, reporting from the capital, Bishkek, said the Kyrgyz troops are believed to be trying to get access to a fuel depot situated inside a neighbourhood in Osh.

"The depot was seized control of by ethnic Uzbek members of the neighbourhood," he said.

"They were trying to use that as a bargaining chip to ensure their safety.

"Because everywhere you go in Osh, the Uzbeks that you speak to believe that they are under attack and need to defend themselves from marauding gangs that have been causing such violence and devastation."

'Outside elements' blamed

For his part, Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan's president, accused "outside" elements of instigating the violence, saying neither ethnic Uzbeks nor Kyrgyz were responsible for starting it.

"Neither Uzbeks nor Kyrgyz are to blame for this," he was quoted as saying by the official Uza news agency on Saturday.

"These disruptive actions were organised and managed from outside.

"Forces that organised this subversive act tried to drag Uzbekistan into this standoff."

Kyrgyzstan's interim leadership has blamed Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the country's deposed president, of masterminding the violence.

Bakiyev denial

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, echoed those allegations, saying Bakiyev may be to blame.

"Certainly, the ouster of President Bakiyev some months ago left behind those who were still his loyalists and very much against the provisional government," she said in remarks posted on the state department website on Saturday.

 

"There certainly have been allegations of instigation that have to be taken seriously."

Bakiyev, now in exile in Belarus, has strongly denied any involvement in the events.

Clinton's statement came as Robert Blake, the US envoy to the region, visited Bishkek on Saturday for meetings with Kyrgyz interim government officials.

Blake, who visited a refugee camp near the Kyrgyz border a day earlier, urged Kyrgyzstan to create conditions for a safe return of the hundreds of thousands of refugees uprooted in the violence.

"It is important for the provisional government to establish the atmosphere of trust and security so the refugees in Uzbekistan and the internally displaced persons in Kyrgyzstan can feel confident that they can return to their homes and live in safety and harmony with their Kyrgyz neighbours," he said after talks with Roza Otunbayeva, the Kyrgyz interim leader.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.