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OSCE To Send Scaled-Back Mission To Kyrgyzstan

An Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) official says Europe's main rights watchdog will send a scaled-down police mission to Kyrgyzstan early next year after postponing its deployment due to security threats.

Herbert Salber, director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Center, told Reuters in an interview that the OSCE planned to send 30 to 31 unarmed policemen to Kyrgyzstan in early 2011.

Most of the policemen would be deployed in the south of the country, where clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks killed more than 400 people in June. The OSCE had earlier planned to send a 52-member police mission this year.

The main task of the OSCE police would be to help local police and to rebuild inter-ethnic trust.

Salber also said that Central Asian states should be able to fight the twin threats of Islamist militancy and ethnic violence without abandoning human rights.

He was speaking in the Kazakh capital Astana, where the 56-member OSCE holds its first summit since 1999 on December 1-2.

compiled from agency reports