The Kyrgyz side claims that Tajikistan was the first to begin construction works in territories that have not yet been demarcated. 

“Kyrgyzstan intends to construct a border crossing point on the Isfara-Vorukh on deКопироватьparture from the Tajik village of Khojai Alo,” Iqbol Teshayev, a spokesman for the administration of the Tajik northern city of Isfara, told Asia-Plus in an interview.  “Meanwhile, under the government-to-government agreements and protocols they do have the right to build any facilities in territories that have not yet been demarcated.  Under the protocol signed din 2014, they must build a by-pass road from Khojai Alo to Vorukh.  The by-pass road should start in the area where the Kyrgyz authorities intend to build the border crossing point.”

Delegations of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan led by the transport ministers of the two countries reportedly met on September 14 to discuss construction works in border areas in accordance with the signed protocols.  On September 15, deputy governors of border provinces (Sughd and Batken) held negotiations.    

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz media reports say Tajikistan intends to build the border crossing point on the Osh-Isfara road, which runs through Tajik territory.  

The Isfara administration spokesman Iqbol Teshayev says Kyrgyz media outlets have exaggerated.  According to him, residents of the Tajik village of Khojai Alo are just going to build sports facilities.  

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.  Trouble periodically sparks around Vorukh, an exclave surrounded by Kyrgyzstan that forms part of the Isfara district in the Sughd province.

The latest serious unrest that erupted between residents of border areas of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on July 22 left least one dead ad several wounded.

There are rival accounts about what sparked the fighting on the afternoon of July 22.

Residents of Tajikistan’s Vorukh exclave in Kyrgyzstan told Asia-Plus by phone that the clash broke out 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 clash broke out just days before the presidents of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were to meet for talks at a conflict-prone border crossing.