An the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, tensions persist despite an agreed ceasefire. According to Kyrgyzstan, 36 people have been killed in the clashes and fighting since last Friday. Tajikistan initially did not present any official figures, but the national service of “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty” reported, citing officials, that at least 39 citizens of the country had been killed.
That makes the latest escalation appear even more serious than one last year, in which around two dozen people died. Despite a cease-fire that had been agreed in the meantime, both sides reported several villages being shelled on Saturday evening. It remained unclear what had triggered the collisions, the most serious in a long time.
Borders in the area in Soviet times were often haphazard and divided between ethnic groups, exacerbating conflicts over land and now, increasingly, water; the region is severely affected by climate change. The border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is still largely undemarcated. According to Kyrgyz sources, more than 140,000 people were taken from the Batken area. Humanitarian aid was collected and blood was donated in the capital, Bishkek.