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    Kyrgyzstan says tensions ease, no need in peacekeepers

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    The head of the Kyrgyz interim government Roza Otunbayeva said in and interview to a Russian business daily there was no need to deploy peacekeepers from post-Soviet security bloc in the troubled South of the Central Asian state

    The head of the Kyrgyz interim government Roza Otunbayeva said in and interview to a Russian business daily there was no need to deploy peacekeepers from post-Soviet security bloc in the troubled South of the Central Asian state.

    Violent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups in southern Kyrgyzstan broke out on June 11 in the south of the country claiming lives of up to 2,000 people and forcing up to 400,000 to flee the crisis area. The interim government has introduced a state of emergency in several areas and has asked a Russia-dominated post-Soviet security bloc to deploy peacekeepers.

    "There is no need to deploy any forces to the republic. The situation had stabilized. We are coping," Otunbayeva said in an interview with Kommersant daily published on Friday.

    She said so-called "citizen diplomats" would settle the interethnic conflicts.

    "Non-governmental organizations work [in the troubled southern Kyrgyzstan]," she said. "They go there, open up roads, [remove] the debris, talk to people using means of citizen diplomacy."

    On Friday Otunbayeva headed to the violence-stricken city of Osh to monitor the devastated areas and visit the injured in hospitals.

    She said the death toll in Kyrgyz clashes could be 10 times more than the official figure of over 190 people because there could be many victims in rural areas, and in line with Kyrgyz customs, the dead are usually buried straight away, before sunset.

    Otunbayeva also said she would press ahead with the much-disputed referendum on a new constitution, slated for June 27, despite an almost country-wide state of emergency.

    On Thursday, the Kyrgyz interim government introduced new regulations under which the referendum could be canceled if the Central Asian republic remains in the state of emergency.

    Kyrgyzstan's interim government took power on April 7 after ex-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the country.

    OSH (KYRGYZSTAN), June 18 (RIA Novosti)

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