Over 100 SOS signs spotted in Osh

June 25 2010
Images of the SOS signs painted on roads in Osh
Images of the SOS signs painted on roads in Osh

If 400,000 people fleeing their homes doesn’t quite put the problems in Kyrgyzstan in perspective, how about this story of horror from Osh. Over 100 SOS signs have been spotted by satellites imaging the city. People desperate for help who still aren’t getting it.

Things are still developing fast. Amnesty International is calling for the government of Uzbekistan to stop forcibly returning people who fled during last week’s fighting in Osh and Jalal-Abat.  It may be too late, as other reports suggest that most of the 100,000 women and children who crossed the border to flee the violence have already returned. (Men weren’t allowed over, the suspected reason being that Uzbek dictator Karimov didn’t want potential pro-democracy supporters on his turf.)

What that means is more people in the highly insecure camps on the Kyrgyz side of the border, or women and children returning to homes that are little more than rubble, where supplies are few and far between. Throw in more tensions around Monday’s referendum on political reform and it’ll be amazing if the country isn’t back in the headlines over the weekend.

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