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Terrorism in Central Asia Needs to Be Battled Now: UN Expert
Source: peopledaily.com.cn
Source Date: Friday, September 10, 2010
Created: Sep 13, 2010

The fight against terrorism in Central Asia is "real," and "it is necessary to take action now," a UN expert told Xinhua on Thursday.

Miroslav Jenca, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative and head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), made the statement in an interview with Xinhua here.

"We have a crisis in Kyrgyzstan, it is extremely important this stabilizes since instability is good soil for illegal activities from terrorists, extremists and organized crimes," Jenga said.

"Terrorism doesn't have national boundaries. We cannot fight terrorism in isolation, it is a complex of coordinated, orchestrated action to be carried out," Jenga said.

The UNRCCA is tasked with analyzing the situation of the countries in the region, which include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, by looking at conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, examining how to fight terrorists and investigating what the countries in the region are doing.

"Some say the fight against terrorism is rushed to suppress the opposition, others say the thread is imminent and possible enemies are everywhere," Jenga said.

Central Asia today houses a number of home-grown suspects and banned terrorist groups of which some have a proven record of violence, and others spread their operations outside Central Asia. The vacuum left by the fall of the Soviet Union has attracted groups from abroad to the region, reports said.

One of these groups is Jamaat Ansarullah, a hitherto unknown Islamist militant group that on Thursday claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in Tajikistan which was committed last week and killed two officers at a police station.

In Kyrgyzstan terrorism is a concern for the interim government since riots in June, killing up to around 3,000 people in Kyrgyzstan's southern provinces, which may have been instigated by terrorist groups, according to CentralAsianewswire.

"It is important that the international community and the international coalition in Afghanistan work more closely with Central Asian governments," Jenga said.

According to Jenga, international aid in the region is perceived "positively and required."

Apart from the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) actively seeks to restore stability in the region.

The Manas air force base, a logistics hub for Afghanistan near Bishkek -- the capital of Kyrgyzstan -- primarily operated by the U.S. Air Force to fight the war in Afghanistan, serves "Kyrgyzstan 's contribution to the efforts of the international community to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan," Jenga said, noting that " it also serves the mission in Afghanistan."

To whip up the fight against terrorism, a UN body tasked with countering terrorism on Tuesday launched a new initiative to strengthen efforts to assist Central Asian countries to combat terrorism.

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday met to review the UN global strategy to counter-terrorism, which was adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in 2006, for the second time.

It focuses on four main pillars of action: tackling the conditions conductive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building state capacity and bolstering the role of the UN; and ensuring respect for human rights and rule of law against the backdrop of the fight against terrorism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Central Asian countries have been engaged in many negotiations, but a regional complex long term agreement has never been reached, according to Jenga.

"These countries cannot cope with these problems on their own," he added.
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