Kyrgyzstan accuses Tajikistan of breaking ceasefire | Newspot

    Advertisement

    Men from the village of Kyzyl-Bel keep watch on a road in Kyrgyzstan’s southwestern Batken region bordering Tajikistan during the fighting along the Kyrgyz-Tajik disputed border on April 30, 2021. – Kyrgyzstan said on April 30, 2021 that its death toll in armed clashes with Central Asian rival Tajikistan had reached 31 after the pair agreed a ceasefire following the heaviest clashes at their disputed border in years. The clashes that erupted along the border between the two poor, mountainous countries were the heaviest in years and had raised fears they might escalate into a wider conflict. More than a third of the two countries’ border is disputed, with the area surrounding the Tajik enclave of Vorukh, where Thursday’s conflict erupted, a regular flashpoint over territorial claims and access to water. (Photo by DANIL USMANOV / AFP)

    Kyrgyzstan accused Tajikistan of breaking a ceasefire by firing on homes on Saturday and said 33 of its people have been killed in the deadliest border clashes between the countries since their independence from the Soviet Union.

    The ceasefire was agreed on Thursday just hours after heavy fighting erupted on the Central Asian countries’ long-contested border.

    But Kyrgyzstan’s national security committee said Saturday that Tajikistan’s military had “opened fire on dwellings” in the Leilik district of Kyrgyzstan’s southwestern Batken region, which borders Tajikistan.

    The security committee said that villagers had been evacuated from the houses before the shooting began at 0645 GMT on Saturday.

    Advertisement

    In a previous release, Kyrgyzstan had accused Tajikistan of blocking a strategic road connecting a Kyrgyz territory to the rest of the country.

    Kyrgyzstan also declared Saturday and Sunday days of mourning, while the health ministry announced that its death toll had risen from 31 to 33.

    Since breaking out on Thursday, the violence has left more than a hundred Kyrgyz injured and over 30 properties destroyed, Kyrgyzstan said.

    Tajikistan, a closed authoritarian state, has not officially acknowledged any deaths or damages from the conflict and did not immediately confirm that fighting had resumed.

    Clashes between communities over land and water along the border are regular occurrences, with border guards often getting involved, however this week’s violence was by far the most serious during the pair’s 30 years of independence.

    Kyrgyz authorities had said on Friday evening that fighting had finally stopped, after a ceasefire agreement that was reached on Thursday evening failed to stop intermittent shooting during the day.

    Tensions had appeared to cool after talks between the presidents and national security chiefs of the two countries.

    Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon spoke by telephone Friday, Japarov’s press service said, and agreed to meet “in the second half of May”.

    Tajikistan’s state information agency also published news of the call, confirming Rakhmon had invited Japarov to visit Tajikistan.

    Neighbouring Uzbekistan and Russia, which maintains bases in both countries, have offered to mediate the conflict.

    Border disagreements between the three countries that share the fertile Fergana Valley — Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — stem from demarcations made during the Soviet era.

    The knotting, twisting frontiers left several communities with restricted access to their home countries.

    Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2347068686071, +2348053062268, Email: [email protected]