Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan cut number of troops in disputed border area
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have cut the number of troops they had previously deployed at a disputed section of their common border in the Chalasart area, the Kyrgyz Border Guard Service reported on Monday, TASS reported.
"As a result of the negotiations between border guard service officials of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on March 20 the sides cut the number of troops at checkpoints set up on Kerben - Ala-Buka road in the Chalasart area", the statement says. The sides have left only eight soldiers each there.
"The situation on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek state border's Chalasart area section is characterized by relatively stable," the document says. On the Kyrgyz side of the border, this section is guarded only by the Border Service military. "Kyrgyzstan's border units deployed at this border section have sufficient manpower and resources for ensuring border security", the report says. According to the reports, the public order in the cross-border area "is ensured by law enforcement agencies, jointly with which the border guards have been engaged in awareness-raising activities among the local population."
Uzbekistan deployed two armored personnel carriers and 40 troops at the disputed border section in the Chalasart area on Friday and unilaterally closed the Madaniyat highway checkpoint on the border with Kyrgyzstan and imposed restrictions on Kyrgyz citizens' entry at the Dostuk highway checkpoint. In response to this, the Kyrgyz side also sent two armored personnel carriers, ··special force troops to this area and stopped the passage of Uzbek citizens and their vehicles at the Baimak, Ken-Sai and Kadamjai highway checkpoints. After that, only one checkpoint - Kyzyl-Kiya, used for the passage of the residents of the Sokh and Shakhimardan enclaves, remained open on the border between the two states. The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry sent a note of protest to Tashkent on March 18, demanding to remove block posts in the disputed territory.