On Wednesday, April 29, at 13:05 local time, clashes broke out between local Tajik and Kyrgyz residents near the water distribution center in the village of Khwaja, in the upper town of Isfara, Tajikistan, and in Koktash Batkand, Kyrgyzstan.
Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security said Kyrgyzstan had planned to seize the water supply, despite agreements between the two countries. Several villagers told the media that residents of the Samanian villages of Isfara in Tajikistan started throwing stones at each other from 4 am on Wednesday and that gunshots were heard later.
Tajikistan shares a 972-kilometer border with Kyrgyzstan. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two neighboring countries have agreed only on the demarcation of the 520-kilometer border. The rest of the border between the two countries has not been determined, and for this reason, the residents of the border areas disagree on the use of water resources, roads, pastures, and land. These disputes sometimes lead to injuries and even deaths of citizens of two neighboring countries but at this recent border clash, we’ve seen heavy fire in borders that killed at least 40 civilians.
According to Bishkek, 78 private homes were destroyed in Kyrgyzstan’s southwestern region of Batken. On the other hand, Kyrgyz security officials at one point accused Tajik forces of using MI-24 helicopter gunships to shoot at Kyrgyz villages. This crisis refers to incorrect border divisions after collapsing of the Soviet Union.
This is not the first time these conflicts have occurred, but they have continued for the last thirty years. We’re seeing the demarcation of the Fergana Valley divided between the three countries, But regardless of racial and ethnic diversity that causes tensions could make it increasingly bloody like a recent crisis.