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OSCE-Led Commission On Kyrgyz-Uzbek Clashes Finishes Work

Chairman Kimmo Kiljunen says the OSCE report on Kyrgyzstan will be ready in March.
BISHKEK -- The chairman of the international commission investigating last year's deadly ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan says his group's report will be issued in March, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Chairman Kimmo Kiljunen, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's special representative for Central Asia, said on January 27 that the commission talked to about 400 locals in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions during its investigation, which began in October. He said some 100 people had contacted the commission for help.

Kiljunen said several people living outside of Kyrgyzstan were also interviewed, though he declined to give their names.

The clashes led to the deaths of at least 426 people, while tens of thousands were forcibly evicted from their homes.

Kiljunen said the commission will now study the information it has gathered.

"We'll try to study the issue in a very objective way, what happened, why it happened, and also give recommendations for reconciliation,” he said. “We'll try to be as objective as possible."

'Mend Relations'

Kiljunen said he hopes the commission's report will help mend relations between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions, where tensions are still high.

"We sincerely hope our report will not contribute to [more] tension in the country. On the contrary, [it should] contribute to reconciliation. That's our sincere hope and our aim," he said.

Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva had sought out an independent international commission to complement investigations and reports conducted by the Kyrgyz ombudsman, a government commission, and a parliamentary group.

Kiljunen said this type of independent international commission was the first of its kind to operate in a former Soviet republic.

Read in Kyrgyz here