New York, 17 September 2022 (TDI): The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres has expressed deep concern about the escalation of violence along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

In a statement shared by his Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, it was highlighted that the Secretary-General was deeply saddened by the deaths and expressed his condolences to the victims and their families.

Statement by the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson  

According to his Spokesperson, “the Secretary-General is following the escalation of violence along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border with great concern. He is deeply saddened by the loss of life and extends his condolences to the victims and their families.”

“The Secretary-General calls on the leadership of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan to engage in dialogue for a lasting ceasefire. Both sides should take full advantage of the existing mechanisms on the ground to defuse tensions.”

“The United Nations stands ready to assist in identifying a sustainable solution to the border disputes if requested by the sides.”

Kyrgyz-Tajik Border Skirmishes

On 14th September news emerged about border skirmishes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan when guards from the two sides exchanged fire in three separate incidents.

It is pertinent to note that the clashes occurred on the eve of the SCO Summit as well as a day after new fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan raised concerns.

Clashes on the border last year nearly triggered an all-out war between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In this latest escalation, the fire was exchanged in two other areas in Batken province, which borders Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the south.

In a statement, the border service of Kyrgyzstan stated that its forces were continuing to repel attacks. “From the Tajik side, shelling of the positions of the Kyrgyz side continues, and in some areas, intense battles are going on,” it claimed.