US, International Community Call for Kyrgyzstan Calm

The international community has added its voice to the growing calls for peace in strife-rocked Kyrgyzstan, as the death toll due to ethnic violence in the Asian country continued to rise. The United States, through its State Department, said it was supporting efforts by the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to restore order in the second-largest Kyrgyz city of Osh and other parts of the country affected by clashes.

The US’s call for “rapid restoration of peace and public order” comes as the interim Kyrgyzstan government appealed for help from Russia to end the clashes that have already resulted in the death of at least 75 people and more than 1,000 others injured since Thursday. However, Russia said it is not ready to step into the situation as the violence is essentially an “internal conflict.”

The clashes have forced minority Uzbeks to flee from their homes as ethnic Kyrgyz gangs set houses and buildings on fire. The government has approved a shoot to kill order against armed gangs in a desperate effort to quell the violence.