Last Updated on September 19, 2022
Dozens of people have been killed after border clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan erupted last week. Clashes erupted around the Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border on Friday, with both sides accusing one another of using tanks, mortars, rocket artillery and drones against both civilian and military targets.
A cease-fire was ultimately declared later that day, which has held to some degree. The two Central Asian neighbors have both accused the other of violating the agreement, however.
On Sunday, Kyrgyzstan announced an additional 12 fatalities as a result of the border clashes. This brings the nation’s official death toll to 36, though the number has been steadily rising on both sides of the border as the respective governments survey damage.
Tajikistan has not provided exact casualty figures as of this time. Reuters has reported that at least 100 people — a figure that accounts for civilian and military casualties — have been killed since Friday.
Videos uploaded to telegram showed both sides using mortars, tanks and armored vehicles. One video reportedly shows a Kyrgyz drone in action, which was used against a Tajik truck.
Kyrgyzstan TB2 in action against Tajikistan Ground Forces. pic.twitter.com/608leBCccz
— Aldin 🇧🇦 (@aldin_aba) September 17, 2022
Heavy clashes this morning between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on the border area. pic.twitter.com/u6Mqa2Qa6N
— Aldin 🇧🇦 (@aldin_aba) September 16, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon to stop the violence on Sunday. Putin “called on the parties to prevent further escalation and to take steps to resolve the situation as soon as possible, and this only through peaceful and political and diplomatic means,” according to a statement obtained by Euro News.
Border disputes have plagued a number of ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Nearly half of their 970-kilometre-long frontier between the two nations, both of which gained independence from the USSR in the early 90’s, is disputed.
The Kremlin has historically moderated disputes between the two ex-Soviet republics.
In the past, flare-ups have happened in the Batken and Osh regions of southern Kyrgyzstan, which borders Tajikistan. Tens of thousands of people have been relocated from this region as a result of the conflict, Euro News reported.
The latest escalation of violence is the worst since April 2021, when clashes between the two sides resulted in at least 50 fatalities.