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Small Conflicts & Big Impacts

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan reached an agreement to demilitarise a conflict-afflicted section of their shared border on September 25, 2022. However, the dispute is far from over.

The whole of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is rocking, with violence erupting due to wars between Russia and Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and now between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan going on. The States of the former Soviet Union are all observing an ongoing shattering of the existing order with uncertainty and fear.

What’s next?
The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), led by Russia, offered diplomatic mediation to both Bishkek and Dushanbe. However, there was no positive response from the two Central Asian neighbours. Moreover, the CSTO has not previously developed a mechanism to solve similar problems.
It is a fact that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of border conflicts in some countries, peacekeepers were sent to the border regions under the CIS peacekeeping purposes. However, such a system does not destroy the root of the problem.

Hence, each country tries to defend its borders or lands it claims with external support or its own means. While Tajikistan enjoys significant support from Russia, and more recently, from Iran; it seems that Kyrgyzstan is seeking a similar way to balance the power of its neighbour.

Experts believe that the solution to the conflict between the two countries lies in border demarcation. Yet, the process can be complicated when considering natural resources and the location of the houses in a chessboard form of border communities. Therefore, interventions by the Governments of two countries are required to manage the current situation, and to strengthen cooperation, increase capacity building in resource management, promote effective inter-ministerial coordination and improve independent monitoring systems, as well as a more substantial involvement of local users and stakeholders.

Finally, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan need an inter-governmental agreement to define Property Rights in order to access and use water and pasture resources.

Source: Talk Diplomacy (Instagram)

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