Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Agree To Joint Security Controls Along Disputed Border

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz and Tajik officials have agreed to jointly control law and order along a disputed segment of the border to ease tensions following deadly clashes late last month.

Officials in Kyrgyzstan’s southern region of Batken said on May 18 that a joint checkpoint has been established between the Kyrgyz village of Ak-Sai and Tajikistan's Vorukh district for law enforcement and border guards in the two Central Asian nations to control safety and security in the volatile area.

A day earlier, several Kyrgyz and Tajik nationals were briefly detained along the border.

The Kyrgyz side claimed that its three citizens were severely beaten while in Tajik custody, threatening to reignite the conflict after deadly clashes erupted on April 28 after the Tajiks tried to install security cameras at a position in the disputed territory.

Batken regional officials also said that a delegation led by the governor, Abdikarim Alimbaev, and a delegation led by the head of Tajikistan's Sughd region, Rajobboi Ahmadzoda, had agreed on May 17 that officials and individuals involved in the beating of the Kyrgyz citizens will be held responsible and face justice.

A member of the Tajik delegation confirmed to RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that the Tajik side agreed to punish its citizens involved in the beating.

According to the official, after that Kyrgyz authorities agreed to allow Tajik citizens and vehicles to pass through territory under Kyrgyz control. There was no official confirmation of that from the Tajik authorities.

The situation along the volatile segment of the border was reported to have calmed with police officers from both sides controlling the area.

Many border areas in Central Asia have been restive since the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. The clashes that started last month left scores of people on both sides dead and injured.

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.