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Otunbayeva Tells Press Justice Had to Wait, UN Accountable Kyrgyz?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 22 -- A week before she steps down from the Kyrgyz presidency, Roza Otunbayeva came on Tuesday to the UN which used to employ her.

  Inner City Press asked Ms. Otunbayeva about the violence in 2010, mostly redirected against Uzbeks in Osh and Jalal Abad in the south, and about criticism in the International Inquiry headed up by Kimmo Kiljunen of her handing of accountability for the violence.

  Otunbayeva said that she only had power a year and seven months, as a "crisis manager." She said that her successor Atambayev will work on the issues of the 445 Kyrgyz judges, perhaps replacing some.

  Her answer rambled into issue of gender balance, that the prosecutor general is a woman, as is the head of the central bank.

  Finally she mentioned the Kiljunen report, saying that "it is on the Internet," and that the government cooperated. But Kiljunen was barred from the country -- at the time, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remained silent on this blockage, his spokesman saying that Kiljunnen's was "not a UN report" -- and many of the recommendations are not being acted on.

   During the recent elections, online news agencies were denied press accreditation.

  Some countries are favorites, or have amassed good will, and Kyrgyzstan like Liberia is such a country. The UN wanted to claim credit for its dubious good work during the violence, and so was not critical afterward.

(c) UN Photo
Ban Ki-moon & Roza
Otunbaeva, Uzbeks not shown

  In other answers, Otunbayeva bristled when asked why her country didn't give in to Pakistan's request that it drop out of balloting for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2012-13.

  She said Kyrgyzstan announced its candidacy in 1997, Pakistan only in 2005. She asked how she could have told her people they were dropping out -- are we a failing country or what?

  She praised Turkey's Erdogan, to whom Ban Ki-moon was so quickly to apologize after UN Security personnel were injured by Erdogan's entourage; she said Japan didn't step forward with aid, trade or tax offers like China did. She was real politik, and says she'll stay in Kyrgyzstan after she steps down. But will there be accountability, and justice for Uzbeks? We'll see.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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