RRF19/2022: Kyrgyztan – Batken Border Clashes Response

Clashes across the Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border, in the Bulak-Bashi area of the Batken region (Kyrgyzstan) erupted on 14 September 2022 between the troops of Kyrgyzstan and of Tajikistan, which escalated into an International Armed Conflict, each accusing one another of using tanks, mortars, rocket artillery and assault drones to attack the outpost.

A state of emergency was declared on 16 September 2022 in the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan share 984 km of border, 30% of which is still disputed and leads to tensions due to lack of access to water, roads and pastures and nearby settlements.

The surroundings of Batken airport and objects on the outskirts of the city were also shelled. As per official data, the total death toll was 39 and 135 people were injured on the Tajik side, 59 people were killed, among them women and children and more than 100 were injured on the Kyrgyz side. Over 140 thousand civilians evacuated the conflict zone to the safer region (Kadamjai and Razzakov cities) of Batken and have become IDPs.

At this moment Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has signed peace memorandum. In mid-october Kyrgyz delegation visited in Dushanbe, Tajikistan to discuss further delimitation and demarcation process. Two sides plan to revise archive documents and maps from the Soviet time. Recently, the Defence Minister of Kyrgyzstan declared that Kyrgyzstan will not give up even 1 cm of its land, but ready to resolve the issue peacefully, unless the sovereignty and inviolability of borders are kept. It is observed that both sides are upgrading their military capacities. The situation is tense, and risk of future conflicts is high.

ACT Europe Forum through Hungarian Interchurch Aid seek to provide humanitarian assistance to affected families. This proposal is in compliance with the criteria for an exceptional circumstance where (a) There are no ACT national members present in Kyrgyztan and (b) Funding is allocated to an international member with an additional objective to provide capacity to support to an ACT national member or local partner.  This response will be implemented by Hungarian Interchurch Aid’s local partner, Insan Leilek Public Foundation. To that end, an RRF of 124,866USD has been approved.

RRF 19 2022 HIA Batken Border Clashes Response