Fergana.ru yesterday reported that there was a border incident in Batken province (Kyrgyzstan) on 26th March. 150 Tajik residents of Isfara province led by their mayor and a couple of soldiers crossed the border and tried to destroy the dam, being constructed by the Kyrgyz side. When trying to take a video of the happening the Tajiks ttacked the head of the Border guard services in Batken province. The dam would make irrigation impossible for the Isfarians. This dam was being built by the Kyrgyz side, to control the water flow to their neighbouring Isfara province on the other side of the border.
The conflict was prevented, reports 24.kg, by the Kyrgyz head of the border guards as he ordered the guards to load their weapons. This made Tajiks step away, as they were unarmed. The story ended when the mayor of Batkent province arrived and said they will talk about it with the Tajik officials later, and the dam was opened.
It is impressive that the mayor cares so much for the people and moreover leads them, crosses the border and tryes to destroy the dam on the territory of the neifghbouring state. This is by the way a brave Woman, Muhiba Yokubova
The Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs blamed Tajiks fo their illegal activity (read it here and here). Tajikistan too published their version of the story, which blames Kyrgyzstan in illegally constructing a dam on a trans-border canal, which is of vital importance for the Isfara province (source of irrigation and drinking water) without informing the other side of its undertakings. The dam is being built on a disputed territory, which makes the activity even more illegal, says the mayor of Isfara province, Muhiba Yokubova. She also said that the mayor of Batken province in Kyrgyzstan admitted the wrong-doings of the border guards, and that the problem will be solved shortly.
I think if local administrations communicated with each other on a regular basis, problems like this wouldn’t have taken place in the first place. But honestly, I am impressed by the bravety of the people of Isfara and willingness of the Kyrgyz authorities to tackle the problem. Good that no one was hurt.
Just in the next day another accident happened; a man (citizen of Uzbekistan) on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border was shot dead by Uzbek border guards. The accident with Kyrgyz and Tajik is much more fun (sort of peaceful) than the ones which involve Uzbekistan, since the latter normally finish mortally.