News ID: 324227
Published: 0244 GMT September 19, 2022

Kyrgyz leader urges calm after deadly conflict with Tajikistan

Kyrgyz leader urges calm after deadly conflict with Tajikistan

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov urged his country on Monday to have trust in its army and strategic partners, and said there was no need for volunteer forces at the border with Tajikistan after deadly clashes there last week.

At least 94 people were killed between Sept. 14 and 16 in fighting involving the use of tanks, aviation and rocket artillery on a disputed section of the border in Kyrgyzstan's Batken Province, according to Reuters.

"We continue our efforts to resolve the Kyrgyz-Tajik border issues in a purely peaceful way," Japarov said in a televised address on a national day of mourning.

"Another point I would like to mention: I urge calm among the men and youths who are willing to go to Batken ... We have courageous warriors and enough forces to repel those who violate our borders."

Japarov also asked Kyrgyz not to trust "provocateurs who slander our strategic partners, friendly nations and peoples who share our position".

Tajikistan's Foreign Ministry also said the key to resolving the conflict lay in negotiations, but it reiterated its position that it was Kyrgyzstan which started the conflict.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sodik Emomi told a briefing that ethnic Tajiks who were not Tajik citizens were being detained in Kyrgyzstan and that Kyrgyz drones had been spotted flying into Tajik territory overnight.

Central Asian border issues largely stem from the Soviet era, when Moscow tried to divide the region between groups whose settlements were often located amid those of other ethnicities.

Emomi said there have been more than 230 border incidents between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan over the last 20 years, and that the focus of the latest conflict was an area covering 2,000 square kilometres (772 square miles).

Former Soviet republics Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are both allied to Moscow and host Russian military bases. Russia has avoided taking sides in the conflict and urged the sides to resolve it peacefully.


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