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Red Cross Says Plight Of Missing In Kyrgyzstan Renewing Tensions

An ethnic Uzbek refugee shows photos of her missing grandsons on July 15.
The Red Cross has warned that the fate of missing people has renewed tensions in southern Kyrgyzstan, the scene of deadly interethnic riots last month.

Nadine Bague, of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said on July 15 that elucidating the fate of the disappeared would help "defuse tensions." The violence has reportedly left hundreds mostly ethnic Uzbeks dead.

The ICRC also appealed for $26 million in additional funds to cover relief efforts in the region.

The ICRC's statement emerged a day after Human Rights Watch said ethnic Uzbeks were being disproportionally targeted in the probe into the clashes. The ICRC said it was trying to obtain access to detainees.

Kyrgyzstan's government today announced that it is setting up a national commission to investigate the violence. The commission is due to submit its findings in two months.

The government says it welcomes assistance from foreign experts.

But Western countries and rights groups have demanded an international inquiry.

compiled from agency reports