Bakiyev Calls on CSTO Help Restore Stability in Kyrgyzstan
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)`s Collective Rapid Response Force could bring the situation in Kyrgyzstan back to normal, deposed Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev told reporters in Minsk on Monday.
Mr. Bakiyev called on the CSTO to help put an end to ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan that has left more than 120 people dead in the last three days and caused tens of thousands of Uzbeks to flee to neighboring Uzbekistan.
"I cannot keep silent, watch and listen to what is happening today in Kyrgyzstan," he said. "A few days ago, I issued a statement and called for inter-ethnic accord, but in recent days the situation has deteriorated and members of the interim government are blaming everything on me and my relatives."
Mr. Bakiyev said that, as far as he knew, the conflict had been triggered by an ordinary casino quarrel between young Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the city of Osh.
"Instead of settling that quarrel, responding rapidly, both the local authorities and the interim government either ignored it or pretended that nothing could happen because of it," Mr. Bakiyev said.
This has led to enormous human casualties and huge numbers of refugees, he said.
Kyrgyzstan`s law-enforcement agencies are completely demoralized and unable to maintain the public peace, Mr. Bakiyev said.
"I call on the two brotherly nations, the Uzbeks and the Kyrgyz, to stop this bloodshed because the interim government is unable to do this," he said.
"I want to appeal to the president of the Republic of Belarus, Alyaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka, to provide humanitarian aid, not to the interim government of Kyrgyzstan, but to the people of Kyrgyzstan, to those who have become victims, the Kyrgyz and Uzbek families," Mr. Bakiyev said.
The riots in southern Kyrgyzstan are the worst violence since Mr. Bakiyev was ousted in a bloody uprising in April and fled the country. The Uzbeks have backed the interim government, while many Kyrgyz people in the south support the toppled president.
Roza Otunbayeva, head of the interim Kyrgyz government, has blamed Mr. Bakiyev`s family for instigating the unrest in Osh. According to a local official, Bakiyev supporters attacked both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks to ignite the rioting.
The interim authorities in Kyrgyzstan want Mr. Bakiyev, who has taken refuge in Belarus, to face trial for allegedly sanctioning gunfire on a crowd of protesters that left more than 80 people dead in April`s uprising.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka has offered support to the ousted president of Kyrgyzstan throughout the crisis and said in May that he would not surrender him to Bishkek. "I want to immediately declare officially: such an appeal would be hopeless and humiliating for the interim government [in Kyrgyzstan]," he said. "The president of Kyrgyzstan is under the protection of the Belarusian state and its president."