Additional security measures have been taken in Isfara in connection with the upcoming meeting of Tajik and Kyrgyz leaders.  Additional Tajik law enforcement servicemen have been sent there.  

An official source at the Tajik Interior Ministry says additional law enforcement servicemen have been sent to Isfara from Dushanbe to provide security during a meeting of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and his Kyrgyzstan counterpart Sooronbai Jeenbekov that will take place in Isfara tomorrow.  

“During the meeting of the presidents, additional checkpoints will be set up on the roads leading to Isfara,” the source said.  

According to him, the Kyrgyz power-wilding structures will strengthen patrol of the border during Kyrgyz president’s visit to Isfara.

The presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are expected to discuss in Isfara and Tajikistan’s Vorukh exclave in Kyrgyzstan issues related to providing peace and stability along the mutual border and acceleration of the process of delimitation and demarcation of the disputed stretches of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border.    

The latest violence around Vorukh, which left one person dead and at least 27 more wounded on July 22, underscored the importance of resolving this longstanding border dispute. 

It is significant that, for once, the two presidents are meeting near the site of a conflict to discuss the problems.

Previous talks between leaders of the two countries were conducted by telephone or on the sidelines of summits of multilateral organizations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or the Collective Security Treatment Organization (CSTO).

Experts believe that Rahmon and Jeenbekov's face-to-face meeting tomorrow could provide an opportunity for progress.

The latest fatal clashes broke out among residents of border areas of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the afternoon of July 22.  The clashes reportedly left one dead and dozens of wounded.

Each side offers rival account of what sparked the July 22 incident

Residents of Tajikistan’s Vorukh exclave in Kyrgyzstan told Asia-Plus by phone that the clash erupted yesterday when people on the Kyrgyz side sought to erect a roadside sign bearing the name of an adjacent village of Ak-Sai in Tajik territory.  

According to them, Kyrgyz villagers used hunting guns in the violence, while Tajiks threw stones.

One resident of Vorukh, Jalol Qarayev, was killed and several others were wounded in the clash.  Three of them are reportedly in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz news agency, citing the Kyrgyz border service, reports the tensions spilled over when residents of Vorukh exclave began installing Tajik flags on the Isfara-Vorukh road, which angered Kyrgyz villagers. The road has now been blocked by Kyrgyz residents as troops restore calm.   

The clash broke out just days before the presidents of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are to meet for talks at a conflict-prone border crossing.  Villagers on both sides of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border have been hanging flags ahead of visits by the presidents of the two countries to the region.