DUSHANBE — Tajikistan‘s Border Guarding Directorate has accused Kyrgyzstan of “attempting to destabilize” the situation at a disputed segment of the border between the two Central Asian nations after fresh clashes in recent days.
The Tajik side said in a statement on May 27 that the latest provocation came as a Kyrgyz man allegedly shot a 25-year-old Tajik woman, who was hospitalized with a gunshot wound.
“We consider it as an attempt of premeditated destabilization of the situation along the state border that might cause a response by Tajik citizens residing close to the vulnerable area,” the statement said.
Officials of the Kyrgyz Border Guarding Service told RFE/RL that Tajikistan’s latest claim about the shooting is being investigated.
Several days earlier, on May 24, Tajik authorities said a Tajik man suffered a gunshot wound after border guards of the two countries exchanged fire in the same area, while on May 8, Kyrgyz authorities said another shooting along the border with Tajikistan in Kyrgyzstan’s southern region of Batken left three Kyrgyz border guards injured, one of whom sustained serious wounds and has been treated in a hospital since then.
Tajik authorities said at the time that two Tajik citizens were wounded in the shooting.
The situation along the border has been tense for years, with each nation accusing the other of escalating tensions.
The Tajik-Kyrgyz border was discussed on May 26 at an online session of foreign ministers of member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the session that his country had called on Tajik and Kyrgyz authorities to solve the issue peacefully and offered to mediate a deal between the two countries.
Many segments of borders between former Soviet republics in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and clashes frequently take place.
In the wake of intensified tensions along the Tajik-Kyrgyz borders last July, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon held meetings in Tajikistan’s city of Isfara and the Kyrgyz city of Cholpon-Ata to discuss the situation, but the tensions have remained.