How to prevent ethnic conflict in Kyrgyzstan?
31/01-2012 10:22, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Irina PAVLOVA
Human rights activists are raising the alarm – “geography of ethnic conflicts spreading all over the country”. According them, it is the result of “inadequate response of the authorities”.
“During the period between the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 incidents of ethnic character occurred in several villages of Kyrgyzstan – Ala Buke village in Jalal Abad province, Andarake village in Batken province; in Mayevka, Petrovka and Zhany Zher villages in Chuy province. Some conflicts were accompanied by bashing and arsons of ethnic minority property. There isn’t any information about arrest of one arsonist or trasher was caught. Also there is no information about the authorities intention to restore property of victims,” note the Human Rights Activists Council of Kyrgyzstan.
“A spring illegal acquisition of property mat occur but local administration is holding back the information,” note civic activists. “Ethnic insinuations and explicit overaccentuate of language issue are increasing tensions and fears in society,” added representatives of Mediation Centers Alliance.
24.kg news agency turned to respondents in order to understand how to prevent ethnic tensions in Kyrgyzstan.
Stanislav Epifancev, director general of St. Vladimir Orthodox benevolent society for education and culture support in Kyrgyzstan:
-Authorities should conduct open and fair policy of interethnic harmony. Equality before the law is one of the conditions for stability. It needs to start with interests of the state and citizens. Then everything will straighten out. Speculations with customs or language must be prevented. While the state must guarantee equality of everyone before the law, we can hear ambiguous announcements in Parliament sometimes.
Kudaybergen Abdyrerimov, director of A. Duysheev’s National Veterinary Research Institute:
-Issues around Russian and Kyrgyz are being discussed too often, but knowing of two language is an advantage. Without Russian we won’t lap over the Republic and advance of international arena. If the population learn English in addition it will be the best. It should be remembered that ethnic groups living in Kyrgyzstan are interconnected in most ways. We must be friends and implant such views in mind since kindergarten. Also talks about the importance of peaceful coexistence must be initiated in families. Everyone in my house are following it. We can’t blame our neighbors in our failures. We need to learn, live and respect each other.
Nadezhda Kostyanikova, chief executive of We are Nationals civic organization:
-We need discipline and tightening of legislation. Because of lawlessness the people have unlearnt to respect the law and order. Provocateurs should avoid the punishment. General Prosecutor’s Office, GKNB (State National Security Committee) and Police must follow the example of SSCG (State Service of Corrections under the Government) Chief Bayzakov. The man has started struggle for order in his area of responsibility.
Ravshanbek Sabirov, Rudaki’s Association of Tajik civic organization director:
-It requires complex measures. Kyrgyz Nationals Assembly worked out an ethnic development concept. It was represented on the 7th kurultay (meeting) in which Ex-president Rosa Otunbaeva and former Speaker Akhmatbek Keldibekov. In total, about 860 delegates took part. People of all ethnic groups should unite around the state-nation and work in the name of the country together.
One of the peace-keeping conditions is poise information in mass media. Thugs don’t have nationality and if they have fight of something else reporters must write citizen one attacked citizen two. There is no need to separate us. Besides, local policemen should react operationally on such incidents and follow the law. The issue of interethnic relations is too delicate.
Dilburat Akbarov, Deputy of Alamudun district:
-Active work of police is a key. People live hard and sometimes provocateurs alcoholize youth and provoke them on illegal acts. I don’t see any other decision as to make law machinery to perform its duty and the law.
Gulsan Satyeva, chief executive of Insan Lyaylak civic organization in Batken town:
-It is a global issue and it is complicated to give answer. It is necessary to implement complex measures. It is important to educate patriotism and public spirit without distinction of ethnic identity. It needs to guarantee equal starting conditions. We must respect each other. Also it is necessary to develop clear the Kyrgyz language learning program which let everybody know national language. First, we must become nationals of Kyrgyzstan and after it we can identify ourselves as Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc.
Aydarbek Zholdoshev, Bishkek habitant:
-The only way is a dialogue. There must be operative reaction on any information which exacerbating tensions. Our own problems can be resolved only by ourselves. Therefore we need to talk with each other. It is the best way. Any information about tensions is provocative.
Azis Isa, analyst of Central Asia Free Market Institute:
-Everything around this problem is quite exaggerated. Nothing terrible will happen. However, in order to defuse tension, the law machinery must be reformed. It should be done fast to make citizens feel themselves secured. The key figure of population trust to Internal Affairs Ministry shouldn’t be some abstract level of crime detection. Also ethnic and any other tensions have economic basis: crowd is always looking for culprits. Therefore, the situation in economic and social sphere should be improved dramatically.
Gulzhamal Sultanalieva, Door Eli civic organization head:
- I don’t think that ethnic conflicts would take place. Nevertheless, it has to be admitted that authorities do less in to prevent them. The essence of these conflicts lies in human rights realization. Are there equal opportunities for everybody in Kyrgyzstan? No. In common, there is no any policy of equal opportunities in Kyrgyzstan. The state policy should follow principle of diversity.
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