In news: After violent clashes across the border, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan have agreed a new ceasefire.
About the issue-
- The border between the two countries has been a focus of tension for the past 30 years.
- Kyrgyzstan had earlier accused Tajikistan of building up troops and military equipment near their border, following the clashes near the de facto Tajik enclave of Vorukh.
- The clashes broke out recently along the frontier between Tajikistan’s Sughd province and Kyrgyzstan’s southern Batken province because of a dispute over a reservoir and pump, claimed by both sides, on the Isfara River.
- Several hundred people had rallied in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, outside the government offices and demanded the government hand them weapons to fight at the border.
- The presidents of the two Central Asian nations have spoken on the phone to discuss further steps after the ceasefire.
- Both countries are former Soviet republics, host Russian military bases and consider Moscow a strategic ally.
- Hence Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone with his counterparts in both countries, urging them to stick to the ceasefire agreement.
- Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north.
- The region consists of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
- It is also colloquially referred to as “the stans” as the countries within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix “-stan“, meaning “land of“.
- Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road.
- The Silk Road connected Muslim lands with the people of Europe, South Asia, and East Asia.