Uzbekistan creates public movement to enhance safety of its border with Kyrgyzstan
Uzbekistan has created public movement, whose members are divided into small groups which conduct patrols along the border with Kyrgyzstan on the boundaries of their villages. They help border guards at the checkpoints. The guards are dressed in civilian clothes and are formed mainly of young men, Ferghana.ru reported.
There is no official information about this movement or its powers. However, according to initial information, these groups have the right to check the documents of people in the border area who appear suspicious.
The reasons for establishing the national movement can only be speculated, but the most likely reasons are the following. Firstly, Uzbekistan wishes to strengthen the border with its overly liberal neighbor, who, according to Uzbek authorities, has a devastating impact on the Tashkent administration. The second is to counteract the illegal seasonal export of Uzbek agricultural products for sale in Kyrgyzstan.
In Uzbekistan, farmers lease the land from the government and then sell the crops to the government. The authorities usually set incredibly low prices and when purchasing the product, they pay farmers on non-cash basis and it is extremely difficult to cash the funds in banks. So Uzbek farmers prefer to play down the real volume of harvest and export part of their crops to neighboring Kyrgyzstan, where they sell them for cash.
Since Aug. 27, Uzbekistan has unilaterally closed its borders with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, explaining this as required to arrange certain activities in preparation for the Uzmetronom.com celebration of Independence Day and the 2200th anniversary of Tashkent. During this period, the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border can only be crossed by Kyrgyz and Uzbek citizens, returning to their state territories. The border from the Uzbek side will be closed by Sept.10. Kyrgyzstan will not close the border from its side.
The latest period of strengthening of the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border began in late May by the Uzbek initiative, following a series of explosions in the Khanabad city near the Kyrgyz border. Ignoring Kyrgyzstan's statement on the inadmissibility of any engineering work until the boundary line was defined on the base of a bilateral agreement, Uzbekistan started to dig antitank trenches at a depth of three meters along the border with Kyrgyzstan.