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Friday, May 20, 2005


U.S. scales back Uzbekistan operations

From Voice of America:

The head of the U.S. Central Command, General John Abizaid, says the United States has scaled back its military operations in Uzbekistan since last week's violence in the Central Asian country. Two leading human rights organizations say Uzbek security forces may have killed as many as 1,000 civilians in the eastern city of Andijan.

Uzbekistan is a country of strategic interest to the U.S. and an ally on the war on terror.

Michael Cromartie, the head of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, says it is important that the U.S. speak with a unified voice to the Uzbek government, something it hasn't always done. "Last year the State Department refused to provide funding for the Uzbek government, due to its human rights violations. Yet, one month later the Defense Department granted funds to the Uzbek government."

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