Analysing the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan conflict

Source: The post is based on an article Analysing the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan conflict” published in The Hindu on 23rd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Important Intenational Developments and their effect on India

News:  The recent clash between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has killed around 100 people. A ceasefire was agreed which was brokered by Russia.

Both countries have a dispute over the 1,000-km long border.

What are the issues between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan?

One of the reasons behind the clash between the two countries is the border which is present from the Soviet-era. The borders of the two republics were divided under Joseph Stalin’s leadership.

Moreover, the creation of the Soviet Union saw the large-scale redistribution of livestock to collective and state farms. The Tajikistan territory saw their livestock increase with scarce grazing land.

Therefore, agreements were signed between the two nations over the utilisation of Kyrgyzstan territory by the Tajikistan’s livestock.

However, the collapse of the Soviet Union led the dissolution of the then existing water and land agreements. It created multiple smaller independent farms which led to an increase in water consumption patterns among the farmers of both nations.

Both countries share multiple water channels due to which small scale conflicts occur practically every year during the crucial irrigation period.

There have been regular talks to solve these issues. However, one of the crucial points of disagreement is over the map which should be used for demarcation purposes.

Almost 1000 km of area of border is of dispute between the two nations.

What can be further course of action?

First, the resolution of the conflict will require groups to agree upon a common map.

Second, the international community will have to make efforts to solve the dispute by involving elders in the communities.

Third, the informal small-scale governance mechanisms would also have to be further strengthened through a joint effort by both the countries.

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