Over 80 dead in border clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

At least 81 people have been killed in clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan this week, in the worst violence the countries have seen in years, as the international community appealed for calm.

The situation on the disputed border between the two Central Asian neighbors was calm on Sunday afternoon, however, according to Kyrgyz authorities.

Clashes regularly erupt between the two former Soviet republics, as around half of their 970-kilometre (600-mile) border has yet to be demarcated.

Tajikistan said on Sunday that 35 of its citizens had been killed, the first official toll since armed clashes erupted on Wednesday.

On its Facebook page, the Tajik Foreign Ministry also reported 25 injuries and said civilians, women and children were among the casualties.

The ministry accused Kyrgyz soldiers of killing 12 people in a drone strike on a mosque and six others in an attack on a school.

AFP was unable to independently verify the claims.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan said on Sunday that at least 46 people died in the southern border region of Batken and 140 were injured.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from Kyrgyz border regions in recent days, according to NGOs.

Kyrgyzstan has declared September 19 a day of national mourning.

“Sustainable ceasefire”

This toll far exceeds the figures for April 2021, when clashes left 50 dead and raised fears of a large-scale conflict.

The two sides agreed to a ceasefire on Friday and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon met his Kyrgyz counterpart Sadyr Japarov at a summit in Uzbekistan.

But the two countries swapped responsibility for ceasefire violations hours later.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called for “no further escalation” between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan during phone calls with leaders of Central Asian countries.

Putin also urged them to “take steps to resolve the situation as soon as possible by exclusively peaceful, political and diplomatic means”, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are both part of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), but they clash regularly.

However, the situation seems to be stabilizing.

On Sunday afternoon, the Kyrgyz authorities issued a statement indicating that the situation at the border “remains calm, tending towards stabilization”.

“There have been no recorded attempts at escalation or any shots fired at the border. The parties maintain their ceasefire agreement and withdraw their respective troops,” the statement added.

On Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the leaders of both parties “to engage in dialogue for a lasting ceasefire”, a spokesman said.

Read it Recent news and recent news here

About Geraldine Higgins

Check Also

New crackdown on fraud and money laundering to protect UK economy

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will bolster the UK’s reputation as a place …