Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan: Toll Grows, Putin Demands De-escalation
Border tensions are rising between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Kyrgyzstan said on Sunday that 36 of its citizens had been killed in border clashes this week with Tajikistan, with Vladimir Putin calling for de-escalation between the two former Central Asian Soviet republics.
In a statement, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health announced the death of 12 additional people in the Batken region, located in southwestern Kyrgyzstan and bordering Tajikistan. Its previous death toll was 24.
Bishkek, the capital, also said 139 people were injured. In the face of the violence – the worst since April 2021 – the two countries urgently agreed to a ceasefire on Friday, but later accused each other of repeatedly violating it.
Military confrontation on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, seen from the Batken region in Kyrgyzstan.
< p class="e-p">In telephone interviews, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Kyrgyz Presidents Sadyr Japarov and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon to avoid new clashes in these countries where Moscow historically plays the role of arbiter.
Vladimir Putin called on the parties to prevent further escalation and to take steps to resolve the situation as soon as possible, and only through peaceful and politico-diplomatic means, according to a Kremlin statement .
However, the situation seemed to stabilize on Sunday. In a statement, the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan indicated that the situation on the border remained calm, with a tendency to stabilize.
On the border line , no attempts at climbing or shooting were reported. The parties maintain their agreement for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of the forces concerned, work continues in this direction, added this source.
On Saturday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres phoned officials from both sides to foster dialogue for a lasting ceasefire, a spokesperson said. word of the international organization.
On Saturday morning, the Tajik Interior Ministry reported that civilians had been killed in Tajikistan during truce violations, without specifying from their number. Shooting between the two countries earlier this week had already caused the death of two Tajik border guards and injured some.
The border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is the scene of regular fights. Nearly half of the 970 kilometers of common border has been contested since the breakup of the USSR, amid tensions over access to resources.
April 2021 , an eruption of violence left more than 50 dead and raised fears of a larger-scale conflict.