Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan employ militias to support border guards
(15 October 2014)
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have taken steps to form civilian militias to strengthen border security. The Kyrgyz parliament passed a bill authorizing the provision of weapons, uniforms, communications equipment, and training to civilians living in border areas on 8 October 2014. Just two days prior to the Kyrgyz bill, the Uzbek parliament approved the creation of volunteer board guards called Chegara Posbonlari, or Border Sentinels. Although the Uzbek volunteers will receive communications equipment, they were not authorized to be armed.
Both countries are responding to the proliferation of smuggling routes in the region, particularly along the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border which has become a transit route for narcotics from Afghanistan. Efforts to guard the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border have been hindered by the collusion of border guards with smuggling operations, as well as the poor demarcation of the border.
Reports have already been made to media services about Uzbek volunteer border guards demanding payment from would-be border crossers and detaining those who are unable or unwilling to pay. Tajikistan, which borders both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, is expected to form similar volunteer militias, according to international media analysts.
Central Asia Turning To Civilian Militias To Shore Up Border Security, 15 october 2014, by Bruce Pannier of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, http://www.rferl.org/content/central-asia-border-guards-civil-militias/26636686.html