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Deploring Violence in Uzbekistan

Deploring Violence in Uzbekistan, Annan Call on to All Parties to Show Restraint

New York, May 16 2005 2:00PM

Deploring the violence that broke out in Uzbekistan’s eastern city of Andijan, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on all parties concerned to show restraint in the use of force and to cooperate with a UN emergency team deployed in the region to assist Uzbek refugees fleeing for safety in neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

A statement issued in New York by a UN spokesman says that the Secretary-General has been following events in Uzbekistan over the past few days with “great concern,” and is “saddened by the news of the loss of life including civilians, and appeals to all parties concerned for restraint in the use of force.”

The statement also calls on all parties concerned to comply with international humanitarian law and cooperate fully with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) team deployed to the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border yesterday to assess the needs of hundreds of Uzbeks who fled violence in their homeland.

The three-member UNHCR team, from the refugee agency's office in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, confirmed that some 560 Uzbeks had arrived on Saturday in Suzac, in the Jalalabad Oblast region of Kyrgyzstan. UNHCR noted that all 560 newcomers on Sunday were registered by the Kyrgyz authorities.

The agency expects regional governments to maintain an open border policy and will cooperate with them to respond to emerging humanitarian needs.

ENDS

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