Tension Along Disputed Segment Of Kyrgyz-Tajik Border Escalates Again

BISHKEK -- Tensions escalated along a disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border as Bishkek said on June 4 that Tajik military personnel had placed a container overnight on what Kyrgyz officials called "a disputed area" along the border between the two Central Asian nations.

The Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said in a statement that the Tajik side, "violating all agreements reached by the two sides' government delegations on the issues of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border delimitation and demarcation," placed a container on an unmarked segment of the border in the Chon-Alai district of the Osh region at around 3 a.m. on June 4 , entering 1,000 meters inside Kyrgyz territory.

The UKMK's statement said the Tajik side left the container on the disputed part of the border and by 6 a.m. had withdrawn its military personnel from the site 600 meters back toward Tajik territory.

The Tajik border guards' press service rejected the Kyrgyz statement, saying that its unit had moved to a border area that had been agreed with the Kyrgyz side as Tajikistan's territory.

"In accordance with the agreements reached by the inter-governmental commission, several sites along the border had been defined. At this point, a border guard unit of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan is providing defense along the agreed line of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border," the Tajik statement said.

Meanwhile, the UKMK described the situation in the area as "tense."

In late April, clashes that involved military personnel along another disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border left dozens of people dead on both sides.


Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Withdraw Military Units From Border After Deadly Armed Clashes

Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991.

The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the volatile Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan meet.

In recent decades, there have been many incidents along the border, which in some cases involved gunfire.