The FINANCIAL — The OSCE Centre in Bishkek officially launched on April 10 a public-private network of mediators in southern Kyrgyzstan.
Twenty-five teams of mediators will be formed throughout Jala-Abad and Osh provinces and in the city of Osh. Each team will be responsible for covering a designated territory. Non-governmental organizations Aimira and Iret will assist in the establishment of ten teams in Jalal-Abad Province, and of 15 teams in the Osh province and city, respectively, according to OSCE.
"Mediators will be selected based on a number of factors, including age, gender and ethnicity. They will represent both the authorities and civil society. Jalal-Abad and Osh province and Osh city government officials will play an active role in selecting mediators from government officials. The teams will be subsequently trained in dealing with hostile crowds and their leaders, as well as in peace building and in promoting ethnic tolerance," OSCE informed.
Mediators will also work with the Kyrgyz government’s security structures in formalizing their network, and establishing security coordination and communication mechanisms. The aim is to ensure that, in a potential crisis situation, the 25 teams of mediators would be able to deploy in unison with the Kyrgyz government’s security forces to prevent any outbreak of conflict.
In addition, mediator teams will work with local and regional government officials to promote peace building and ethnic tolerance in their respective areas.
“The project is unique in many ways: not only will each team comprise members of the government and civil society, and offer a formalized security co-ordination mechanism, but it will also create a sustainable structure to be subsequently handed over to the regional government agencies,” Ross Brown, Political Officer in the OSCE Osh Field Office in charge of the project said.
“The establishment of a formalized mediator team network under governmental supervision in Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces and Osh city could serve as a model to be duplicated throughout other provinces in the country as an effective and systematized government approach to preventing conflict.”