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Kyrgyzstan: Memories of Osh Violence Continue to Haunt Children

Uzbek boys attend Friday prayers at the Mamakhan Ogly Nobijon Hajji Mosque in Osh. (Photo: David Trilling)

The physical damage done to Osh, the city in southern Kyrgyzstan that was engulfed in interethnic violence almost two years ago, is steadily being repaired. The psychological scars, on the other hand, may take generations to heal.

Children are the ones having the toughest time. Many of those who were caught up in the violence are experiencing acute psychological trauma, according to experts. And there are limited resources to treat them.

Ibrokhim, a 13-year-old boy from Osh, is among the children who were traumatized by the events of June 2010. Ibrokhim (not his real name) is enrolled at the Toichu Altybaev School (former Leo Tolstoy School) in the suburbs of Osh, but when school started again last September, he was scared to attend. “I didn’t feel good. I wanted to stay at home. I was scared to go out,” Ibrokhim says, adding that his safety concerns were rooted in memories of his father being shot during the ethnic violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.

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Kyrgyzstan: Memories of Osh Violence Continue to Haunt Children

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