The best we can do?

June 14 2010

Just been reading the daily World Health Organisation report on the situation in Kyrgyzstan, which lists a breakdown of NGO and official channel activity in the Osh/Jalalabad area as well as ongoing need. It’s a clinical document which hardly conveys the horror on the ground that’s being reported, and reads as though the Red Crescent and Red Cross are pretty much the heroes of the day at the moment (certainly the army isn’t – there have been lots of reports of soldiers simply siding with the Kyrgyz and shooting at fleeing Uzbeks).

I can’t help but be a little underwhelmed by the only mention of foreign government assistance. While the Kyrgyz interim authorities have been pleading with the Russian – and allegedly US – governments for help to keep the peace, they got this:

“One trauma kit (with supplies to treat 100 trauma cases), funded with support from the Italian Government, has been sent to Osh.”

Eeywitnesses say that there are trucks out picking up heaps of bodies off the roads and mass graves being opening up to bury up to 1,000 dead. One trauma kit would be funny, if it wasn’t such a tragic indictment of how the UN is pussy footing around the sensitive security issue (it’s the only country with both Russian and US airbases on its soil) and failing to step into a situation that’s been ongoing since Thursday.

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