Clash involving residents of Tajik and Kyrgyz border villages took place yesterday and Tajik border guards reportedly managed to prevent further escalation of the conflict.

Muhammad Ulughkhojayev, a spokesman for the Main Border Guard Directorate at the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan says a conflict took place between residents of the Tajik village of Khoja Alo (Isfara district) and the Kyrgyz village of Uch-Dobo (Batken district).

According to him, residents of the Kyrgyz village wanted to build a fence on the disputed stretch of the border.  

“Residents of the Tajik village of Khoja Alo asked them not to build the fence without the knowledge of the authorities and without their consent, to which residents of the Uch-Dobo village thrown stones at them,” Ulughkhojayev said.

According to him, Tajik border guards came in time and managed to prevent further escalation of the conflict.  “One of the border guards was slightly injury by stone,” the spokesman added.

The construction of the fence has reportedly been suspended and the local authorities are carrying out explanatory work among the residents.  

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan share a 978 kilometer border–only 504 kilometers of which has been delimited. The disputed sections run between Tajikistan’s Sughd province and Kyrgyzstan’s Batken province.

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have been unable to agree on the location of the border they inherited when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.  As the population in the dense Ferghana Valley grows, it has become increasingly difficult to demarcate the contested sections, where valuable agricultural land often lies.

The area at the focus of unrest among residents of border areas of the two countries lies on the jagged frontier where the east of Tajikistan’s Sughd province and Kyrgyzstan’s Batken region meet.

Skirmishes have sparked between residents of Isfara (Tajikistan) and Batken (Kyrgyzstan) districts along the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border.