Kyrgyzstan violence uproots 400,000, says UN

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Kyrgyzstan violence uproots 400,000, says UN

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An immense humanitarian crisis is how the Red Cross is describing the situation caused by the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Some aid has now begun being delivered to Uzbek refugees fleeing the ethnic violence. But many are said to be running short of supplies.

The UN says 400,000 people have been displaced – up to a quarter of them are thought to have taken refuge in Uzbekistan.

The past week has seen a stream of families crossing the border from Kyrgyzstan after nearly two hundred people were killed and almost two thousand wounded in violence between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks.

Most of those displaced are women and children and have been put up in makeshift camps.

There are warnings that the crisis in the region is likely to get worse. One international think tank has described the reports from Uzbeks in the towns of Osh and Jalalabad as bloodcurdling.

Checkpoints have been erected in Uzbek areas. But many residents do not trust the ethnic Krygyz soldiers deployed to protect them, and have set up their own barriers.

Kyrgyzstan’s government has accused the country’s deposed president of igniting long-standing ethnic tensions.