Many of southern Kyrgyzstan’s ethnic Uzbeks, facing continued harassment from local authorities, are pondering their future in the Kyrgyz Republic. Thousands are packing their bags, perhaps for good.
On July 21, repeating a request for police monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to help pacify the South, provisional President Roza Otunbayeva admitted her government does not fully control the region.
“I believe that international [police] forces should be deployed [in Kyrgyzstan] because we are so far unable to protect our citizen's rights. This is not because I acknowledge [our] own powerlessness, but the situation is very difficult," RIA Novosti quoted Otunbayeva as saying.
But faced with daily protests, the police monitors may arrive too late to stop a permanent demographic change.
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Alisher Khamidov is a journalist based in Osh.