The incomplete work of checkpoints on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border has caused Kyrgyz local officials' complaints about the situation in border areas. Some of them have voiced concern over closed border checkpoints, while others complained about difficulties in the disputed areas on the border with Uzbekistan, Kabar, Kyrgyz news agency reports.
Only seven of existing 15 checkpoints (figures are as given) are working on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, the head of the Kyrgyz Border Service's regional directorate for Osh and Dzhalal-Abad regions, Abdykerim Alimbayev, has said.
"At present, residents of Dzhalal-Abad have to go through the checkpoint Dostuk to get to their relatives in Uzbekistan. Apart from this, both Kyrgyz and Uzbek people, who wish to cross the border, must have a telegram," the Kabar news agency quoted Alimbayev as saying at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tokon Mamytov on 23 October. The Kyrgyz deputy prime minister in charge of security forces is on a working visit in Kyrgyzstan's southwestern Dzhalal-Abad Region.
Moreover, residents of the Kok-Tash village in the region's Ala-Buka District complained about the tense situation on the joint border and demanded a new border checkpoint in the Gava village. "It is necessary to open a border checkpoint in the village of Gava. The majority of residents of the border village have relatives on the other side of the border - in Uzbekistan. Despite the tense situation on the border, we are continuing to marry off our daughters and allow sons to marry citizens of Uzbekistan. When crossing the border, we have to go through long procedures," local residents said at the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tokon Mamytov, the KyrTAg news agency reported the same day.
A local official from Ala-Buka District in Kyrgyzstan's Dzhalal-Abad Region has complained about "harassment" by Uzbek border guards, the 24.kg news agency reported on 23 October. "Uzbek border guards take away Kok-Tash residents as prisoners of war," the report quoted the head of the administration of the Kok-Tash village, Adylbek Alymov, as saying at the meeting with Tokon Mamytov.
He said that a third of the village's territory was a disputed area, which has not been demarcated with Uzbekistan. "However, on the maps of Uzbekistan, these areas are marked as their territory, and Uzbek border guards threaten Kyrgyz citizens living in these areas," Adylbek Alymov said.
One of the locals also said that Uzbek border guards smashed the windows of his home, as it was located in a disputed area. Villagers also raised the issue of a need to build a new power substation. "Previously, we were using electricity provided by the Uzbek side. However, they stopped providing electricity after conflicts," the head of the village administration concluded.
According to the 24.kg news agency, another Kyrgyz official was also complaining about the "critical" situation in the village of Ak-Tash near the Uzbek border. "Uzbek border guards might take away our citizens into their territory threatening with arms and then accuse them of violating the border. They have recently taken away two police officers and they did not want to release them up until Uzbek law-enforcement agencies intervened in the incident," the head of the rural government in Ak-Tash, Egemberdi Koshokbayev, said at yesterday's meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tokon Mamytov.
Security measures Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Tokon Mamytov expressed his concerns over the disputed border areas between the two Kyrgyz districts and Uzbekistan. "On the whole, 61 areas or 371,34 km remain disagreed on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. Of these, 28 areas are located in Ala-Buka and Aksy districts," Tokon Mamytov said during his working trip to Dzhalal-Abad Region, the KyrTAg news agency reported.
Earlier, he urged speeding up the border demarcation process with Uzbekistan. "The border delimitation and demarcation process needs speeding up. However, this problem must be resolved during bilateral meetings; both between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, without any involvement of a third party; be it the OSCE, the UN or NATO," he was quoted by the AKIpress news agency on 16 October.
The head of the Kyrgyz Border Service's regional directorate, Abdykerim Alimbayev, said on 23 October that 24 watchtowers were installed on the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan this year. "In 2013, 24 watchtowers - 13 in Batken Region and 11 in Osh and Dzhalal-Abad regions - were set up on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek and Kyrgyz-Tajik borders. We have moved to a system of fixed border detachments since early 2013," he said.
Roza Otunbaeva blamed
"Interim President Roza Otunbayeva let Uzbek nationals into Kyrgyzstan," the former head of Ala-Buka District's administration, Ulan Baymyrzayev, said at today's meeting of Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Tokon Mamytov with the people of the Ortokbel village, 24kg reports.
He said that after the 2010 June events [ethnic unrest in Kyrgyzstan's south], the former president "called him personally and gave him instructions to allow Uzbek nationals into Kyrgyzstan". "I think that this decision was taken at a session of the Security Council. [Member of the interim government] Ismail Isakov gave instructions too," he said. Local people said that 271 Uzbek nationals were illegally living on Kyrgyz soil near the Kasansay (Orto-Tokoy) water reservoir. "Uzbekistan considers the area part of its own territory. They are living here without paying taxes," villagers said.
According to the news agency, after the April and tragic June events of 2010, Uzbek nationals left the water reservoir, but as soon as the situation in the country stabilized, they returned. As a result, the water reservoir is again under Uzbek control. "They are saying that the dam was built with the money of Uzbekistan, namely Namangan Region. Orto-Tokoy was built in Soviet times. So it means that it was built with Soviet money, and their stay on Kyrgyz soil is illegal," the head of the State Property Registry in Ala-Buka, Abdulat Myrzayev, said.
Deputy Prime Minister Tokon Mamytov promised to look into who gave the instructions. "The water reservoir is located on Kyrgyz soil, and the fact that the nationals of the neighbouring country are living there is illegal. After the revolution, they fled. We will find out who brought them back and on the basis of what," Tokon Mamytov stressed.