Tajik-Kyrgyz negotiations over border incident to be continued today

06/08/2015 10:52
Avaz Yuldoshev
Views: 12420

DUSHANBE, August 6, 2015, Asia-Plus -- Representatives of Tajik and Kyrgyz border services met in the Tajik village of Somoniyon yesterday afternoon in a bid to ensure that there is no escalation after the August 3-4 clashes between residents of border villages that left several people injured.

Tajikistan was represented by Rajabali Pirakov, the deputy head of the Main Department of Border Guards under the State Committee for National Security, and Kyrgyzstan was represented by Iskander Mambetaliyev, the deputy head of Kyrgyzstan’s Border Service.

An official source in the Isfara mayor’s office says representatives of local authorities and law enforcement agencies of both countries have also participated in the negotiations.   

“The negotiations participants noted that the situation has been taken under control and the sides have enough forces and means to keep peace and stability,” the source said.

According to him, the negotiations will be continued today and the sides will discuss measures to prevent such border incidents in the future.    

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reports that officials yesterday called for a clearer demarcation of borders between the two countries.

We will recall that according to sources in Tajikistan’s Isfara district, the incident along the border started on August 3 when residents of the Kyrgyz village of Kok-Tash blocked the flow of water to the Tajik village of Chorkuh, which caused protests by Tajiks.  In response to this, residents of the Tajik village of Chorkuh blocked a road that Kyrgyz residents of Kok-Tash use to reach a cemetery where relatives are buried.

Some 200 people then gathered on both sides of the border on August 3 and threw stones at each other.

An official at the Isfara mayor’s office says the crowd increased to about 500 people on August 4 and residents again threw stones, injuring several people on both sides.

RFE/RL’s Tajik Service quoted officials in Tajikistan's Isfara district as saying that six Tajik citizens were wounded by gunfire that rang out later on August 4.  Two of the wounded Tajiks are in grave condition, the officials said.

The deputy chief of Chorkuh, Abdukhalil Sharifov, reportedly said the shooting came from the Kyrgyz side of the border and broke out when Tajiks resumed work on building a water pipe crossing a disputed area.

He said 10 people from both sides were injured in the initial outbreak of violence on August 3.

Local authorities and elders from both sides were discussing the situation and urging calm.

Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards said they are monitoring the situation and are ready for joint efforts to prevent an escalation of violence.

Conflicts over water and land are still present between Kyrgyz and Tajiks in southern Kyrgyzstan.  Border incidents, most of which concern sections which have not been delimited, are leading to clashes between them.

Tajikistan’s common border with Kyrgyzstan is 978 kilometers in length and only 530 kilometers of it have been delimited so far.  The disputed 448 kilometers of the border run through densely populated areas of Tajikistan’s Sughd province.

We will recall that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have been locked in a tense border dispute over Vorukh, an exclave of Tajikistan within Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan has suggested using the maps of the periods of 1955-1959 for demarcation and delimitation of the disputable stretches of the border while Tajikistan has suggested working with documents and maps of the period of 1924-1927.  The maps of the early 1920s show the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic as incorporating Vorukh within its borders while the maps of the 1950s show Vorukh as an exclave within the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic.

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