U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday he is sending a special envoy on an urgent trip to Kyrgyzstan following violent unrest in the Central Asian nation.
A Kyrgyz opposition coalition has set up an interim government after clashes on Wednesday left dozens dead. The violence came just days after Mr. Ban repeatedly criticized the country’s human rights problems during a visit.
Mr. Ban said Slovakia’s former foreign minister Jan Kubis will travel to Kyrgyzstan for the United Nations on Friday, and that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will also send an envoy.
“I’m deeply concerned and alarmed by all this violence,” Mr. Ban told reporters after meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.
“Any expressions of the opposition should be handled by both sides in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Mr. Ban said he could “feel the tension in the air” on his recent visit. “The pressure has been building for months,” he said.
Mr. Ban said he told President Kurmanbek Bakiyev “quite loud and clearly” about the need to protect human rights, and the need to guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of media and freedom of assembly.
“Particularly I spoke out that it was quite troubling for me to see TV media was closed just two, three days before my arrival and I raised this issue that freedom of media must be protected,” he said.