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Uzbeks Erect Checkpoint In Disputed Area Along Tajik Border

KHUJAND (RFE/RL) -- Uzbek border guards have erected a checkpoint in a disputed area along the Tajik-Uzbek border, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

A local leader in the village of Ravot in Tajikistan's Soghd Province, Hanifa Yusufova, told RFE/RL that Uzbek border guards check every Tajik citizen who passes through the checkpoint to reach their agricultural fields.

Yusufova said no vehicles are allowed to cross the disputed area and all Tajik nationals working on fields in the area are being forced to pay customs fees to Uzbek officials to allow the use of tractors.

Yusufova said that about 60 hectares of the disputed land is under de facto Uzbek control.

The deputy Governor of Soghd's Konibodom district, Rustam Qodirov, confirmed that Uzbek border guards restricted movement of Tajik farmers in the area, adding that the issue can only be resolved by the Joint Tajik-Uzbek Border Delimitation Commission.

Tajikistan's Soghd Province has a 900-kilometer border with Uzbekistan, most of which has been agreed upon.