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Majlis Podcast: Making Sense Of The Clashes At The Kyrgyz-Tajik Border


Kyrgyz border guards at a post in the village of Maksat on May 4.

The fighting along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border on April 28-30 was a shock, despite the clear signs that tensions were building along that border for years.

It was the first time since the five Central Asian states became independent in late 1991 that militaries of two countries had engaged in combat against each other.

While the skirmishes were over relatively quickly, the fighting was on a scale never seen before in the area and the vast majority of casualties were civilians.

There have been attempts at reconciliation despite the mutual accusations over who is at fault -- and the question of marking the last sections of the Kyrgyz-Tajik frontier has gained new urgency.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion on what led to the fighting, what happened during those three days, and how the fighting has changed the situation along the border and in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

This week's guests are: from the United Kingdom, Madeleine Reeves, a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Manchester and also the author of Border Work: Spatial Lives Of The State In Rural Central Asia that draws on Reeves’ extensive research in the exact area where the conflict occurred; from Geneva, Switzerland, Cholpon Orozobekova, a director of the Bulan Institute for Peace Innovations; from Germany, Hafiz Boboyorov, a guest researcher at Bonn University and previously with the Academy of Sciences in Tajikistan; and Bruce Pannier, the author of RFE/RL's Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Making Sense Of The Clashes At The Kyrgyz-Tajik Border
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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