Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan agree ceasefire after border clashes

Published May 2, 2021
Kyrgyz citizens, who were evacuated from districts bordering Tajikistan are seen inside of a school in southwestern town of Batken on Saturday. — AFP
Kyrgyz citizens, who were evacuated from districts bordering Tajikistan are seen inside of a school in southwestern town of Batken on Saturday. — AFP

BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan agreed what they called a complete ceasefire on Saturday after reports of fresh shooting and troop build-ups in the aftermath of border clashes earlier this week that killed 49 people.

The heads of the countries’ state security bodies announced the agreement in a joint briefing in Kyrgyzstan hours after Kyrgyzstan’s border guard service said Tajik troops opened fire on Kyrgyz vehicles on their side of the border.

The presidents of the two Central Asian nations also spoke on the phone on Saturday to discuss further steps, their offices said.

“The tragedy that happened in the border area must never happen again,” Saimumin Yatiyev, head of Tajikistan’s State National Security Committee, said as he stood next to his Kyrgyz counterpart Kamchybek Tashiyev.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone with his counterparts in both countries, urging them to stick to the ceasefire agreement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which are former Soviet republics, host Russian military bases and consider Moscow a strategic ally.

The clashes broke out this week along the frontier between Tajikistan’s Sughd province and Kyrgyzstan’s southern Batken province because of a dispute over a reservoir and pump, claimed by both sides, on the Isfara River.

Villagers from opposing sides hurled rocks at each other and border guards joined the fray with guns, mortars and even, according to Kyrgyz border guards, a Tajik attack helicopter.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Avenfield relief
Updated 30 Sep, 2022

Avenfield relief

Accountability cannot continue to be treated like a revolving door in which politicians can be shoved in or pulled out on a whim.
Dar’s plans
Updated 30 Sep, 2022

Dar’s plans

For starters, the country doesn’t have spare dollars to burn.
Another targeted attack
30 Sep, 2022

Another targeted attack

WEDNESDAY’S deadly attack on three Chinese-origin individuals in Karachi’s Saddar area demonstrates the threat...
More leaks
Updated 29 Sep, 2022

More leaks

Recent leaks look more like an inside job than the work of a foreign power.
A depressing winter
29 Sep, 2022

A depressing winter

WINTER is on its way, with a massive gas crunch looming as elevated global LNG prices have eroded the cash-strapped...
Great expectations
29 Sep, 2022

Great expectations

CONSIDERING that the Afghan Taliban have been in the saddle for over a year now, the UN has expressed frustration...