OSCE police mission to Kyrgyzstan in jeopardy, says OSCE official


Planned OSCE police mission to Kyrgyzstan may not happen, says OSCE offical

Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - A German Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) official who met with the Kyrgyz president last week says the OSCE’s plan to send police monitors to Kyrgyzstan could be cancelled.

German OSCE representative Viola von Cramon told German newspaper Die Tageszeitung that the OSCE force may not arrive in Kyrgyzstan at all because Kyrgyz officials could not guarantee the security of the advisors in the southern provinces.

The OSCE has been planning to send roughly 50 unarmed police monitors to Kyrgyzstan in the wake of repeated complaints of abuse by Kyrgyz security forces against ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan’s southern region.

VonCramon, who met with Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva and Ata-Meken Party Chairman Omurbek Tekebayev, added that Otunbayeva is also reluctant to allow the OSCE force to enter Kyrgyzstan for fear of artificially stirring up tensions in the area.

Members of the interim Kyrgyz government met with OSCE representatives August 24 -25 to clarify the terms under which the OSCE police advisory mission would operate in the southern Kyrgyz provinces of Osh and Jalalabad, Kommersant reported. Officials from the OSCE and the Kyrgyz government drafted a Memorandum of Understanding that would limit the powers of the force and remove the force immediately upon Bishkek’s request.

However, Otunbayeva has not signed the memorandum, leading to further suspicions that the force will ultimately be cancelled.

Also fuelling speculation that the deployment has been called off was a Wednesday report by Russian newspaper Kommersant that the flights that would have brought the 52 police advisors to Bishkek have been cancelled.

In the face of the speculation, the OSCE said Wednesday that the mission had not been called off and that the OSCE is working to resolve outstanding issues over the deployment.

“We remain hopeful that we will be able to resolve any outstanding issues and deploy the requested assistance to Kyrgyzstan as soon as possible,” OSCE Conflict Prevention Center director Herbert Salber said in an OSCE press release on Wednesday.