Report: Tajik-Uzbek Border Cleared Of Mines

Uzbekistan has completed mine-removal activities along its shared border with Tajikistan, local publication Asia-Plus reported over the weekend, citing a source in the security bloc of Tajikistan.

The reported completion of mine-removal activities stems from an agreement between the two Central Asian countries during a visit by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev in March 2018 to Tajikistan.

Both sides promised that demining activities would be completed by the end of 2019.

Uzbekistan conducted the work since the mines were located on its side of the border.

The mines were laid in the mountainous sections of the border with Tajikistan in the late 1990s.

Then, Tashkent explained the actions by saying that it wanted to prevent the entry of members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan onto its territory.

According to the National Mine Center of Tajikistan, over 800 residents of the country have suffered from mine explosions over the past 20 years.

By October 2018, demining work had started along the border with Uzbekistan, the Tajik president's Center for Strategic Research, Hudoyberdy Holiqnazar, announced.

Bilateral ties have improved dramatically since Mirziyoev took over as Uzbekistan's leader in September 2016.