Surprise: Osh Mayor Against Foreign Monitors
Here’s a revelation: Osh Mayor Melisbek Myrzakmatov is also against deploying OSCE international police monitors to his besieged and frightened city. Reports 24.kg:According to him, most of residents of the southern capital are against bringing in this OSCE group. “I entirely support the citizens and think that we are able to manage the situation on our own,” the city Mayor said. According to him, now it is necessary to solve one of the most important questions – about restoration of Osh. Yep, rebuilding; not stopping his security forces from torturing and killing Uzbeks, as impartial observers have widely documented. Isn’t it convenient? Most of what Myrzakmatov wanted gone – including those awkward Uzbek mahallas – was destroyed in the June bloodletting. Guess he’ll have to move that bazaar outside the city, after all. Myrzakmatov, recall, is a powerful force in Osh. Appointed by former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, he emerged on the steps of his office a few days after Bakiyev's April 7 ouster and asked his people to show their love. (He failed to disclose how much he paid them.) Since then, despite widely being suspected of complicity in last month's violence, the infirm government in far off Bishkek has been unable to remove him.He has a growing lobby: the thousands (or more) Kyrgyz who refuse to accept that some of their ethnic kin may have had a role in the violence. Osh sees rallies on almost a daily basis. Take a demonstration on Monday, for example. One can see from the protesters’ demands how deeply Kyrgyz nationalism is becoming entrenched. And they want no one poking around seeing what happened. Interfax reported on July 19 (via BBC Monitoring):The opponents of stationing OSCE police forces [in Kyrgyz south] have gathered in the central square in [southern Kyrgyzstan's] Osh city today.…Participants in the rally are demanding that the Kyrgyz ombudsman, Tursunbek Akun, apologize because the protesters were not pleased with Tursunbek Akun's assessment of the inter-ethnic clashes that took place in the Kyrgyz south in June [EurasiaNet: Akun has criticized the persecution of human rights activists by Kyrgyz security forces]. They are demanding that rights activists, who are investigating these events on their own, stop doing so. They are also demanding that certain leaders of the Uzbek diaspora and the heads of the two local Uzbek language TV companies, Osh TV and Mezon TV, be brought to account.There shouldn't be foreign police? Tell that to the Uzbeks. They see an international presence, even a small one, as their last hope the persecution and retributive murders might stop.