Skirmishes on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan Border
(28 August 2014)
Soldiers of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan exchanged fire along their contested boundary in the Ferghana Valley on the 25th of August, marking a continuation of violence in this disputed territory. The skirmish occurred in the western part of the Batken Province of Kyrgyzstan, where it borders the Sughd Province of Tajikistan. The incident is the third dispute involving firearms along the border this year.
Disputes along the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border date from 1991, when the two countries were formed based on boundaries of the former Soviet Union. Only about half of the 971-kilometer boundary has been formally delimited.
Reports from Kyrgyz and Tajik sources offer differing descriptions of this most recent skirmish. A statement from Kyrgyz border guards said that the “Tajik border guards were the first to open fire” after Tajik border guards attempted to construct a border post in a contested area. According to Tajik media, on the other hand, Kyrgyz border guards repairing a bridge in the disputed territory were the first to open fire, injuring five Tajik civilians.
Officials are meeting in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek to discuss border tensions, according to Tajik police. The Kyrgyz foreign ministry reports that Kyrgyzstan has sent an official note of protest to Tajikistan.
Fighting on Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan Border Spreads, 26 August 2014, by David Trilling, Eurasianet, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/69701
Two killed in border skirmish between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, 26 August 2014, by Roman Kozhevnikov and Olga Dzyubenko, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/26/two-killed-border-tajikistan-kyrgyzstan