June 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Uzbekistan: Bloomberg: Uzbekistan Restricts U.S. Use of Air Base There, Pentagon Says

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Uzbekistan: Peace Corps Uzbekistan : The Peace Corps in Uzbekistan: May 31, 2005: Headlines: COS - Uzbekistan: COS - Kazakstan: Baltimore Sun: Kazakhstan RPCV Joshua Abram says: U.S. should take a stand for freedom in Uzbekistan : June 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Uzbekistan: Bloomberg: Uzbekistan Restricts U.S. Use of Air Base There, Pentagon Says

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 3:06 pm: Edit Post

Uzbekistan Restricts U.S. Use of Air Base There, Pentagon Says

Uzbekistan Restricts U.S. Use of Air Base There, Pentagon Says

Uzbekistan Restricts U.S. Use of Air Base There, Pentagon Says

Uzbekistan Restricts U.S. Use of Air Base There, Pentagon Says

Caption: Uzbekistan on June 2 2005 rejected fresh Western pressure over violence last month in which many civilians were reported killed, telling NATO and the rest of the world it saw no grounds for an international inquiry. NATO Secretary-General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer on June 2 condemned reported use of excessive force by Uzbek troops in the eastern town of Andizhan and NATO parliamentarians urged member states to halt support for the Uzbek armed forces unless a probe was conducted. Residents walk past vehicles burnt during the unrest in the eastern Uzbek town of Andizhan. File photo taken May 13, 2005. Photo by Staff/Reuters

June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Uzbekistan restricted the U.S. military's use of an air base there after the U.S. demanded a ``transparent inquiry'' into the Uzbek government's shooting of protesters in Andijan last month, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The Kharshi-Khanabad base ``has been important in our ability to fight al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan and it's been important in being able to deliver humanitarian assistance into northern Afghanistan,'' spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

The restrictions came within the past couple of weeks and include the suspension of night flights, Whitman said. The U.S. Central Command has made temporary adjustments, he said, without elaboration.

The Washington Post reported today that the U.S. is moving search-and-rescue planes, which must operate at all hours, to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and is flying heavy cargo flights through bases in neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

Violence broke out in Andijan on May 13 when armed men protesting a trial of Islamic militants broke into a jail and freed prisoners. A clampdown followed as police and soldiers in Andijan and nearby towns fired on protesters, most of them civilians opposed to President Islam Karimov's regime.

Opposition supporters and human rights activists said more than 500 persons were killed, including unarmed protesters. Karimov's government put the death toll at 173 and rejected calls from the U.S., European Union, United Nations and the U.K. for an independent investigation into the violence.

``It's becoming increasingly clear that very large numbers of civilians were killed by the indiscriminate use of force by Uzbek forces,'' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said may 18. ``There needs to be a credible and a transparent accounting to establish the facts.''

Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic of 26 million people, was the first Central Asian country to allow the U.S. to use a military base in the campaign against terrorism that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

When this story was posted in June 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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June 12, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: June 12 2005 No: 644 June 12, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
US should take a stand for freedom in Uzbekistan
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RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

June 6, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: June 12 2005 No: 643 June 6, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
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June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program Date: June 7 2005 No: 640 June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program
Peace Corps has announced that it is suspending the Uzbekistan program after the visas of 52 Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were not renewed. The suspension comes after a State Department warning that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in Uzbekistan and after the killings in Andizhan earlier in May. Background: PCOL published a report on April 23 that Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were having visa difficulties and reported on safety and visa issues in Uzbekistan as they developed.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

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Story Source: Bloomberg

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