UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the leadership of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan “to engage in dialogue for a lasting ceasefire”, as the two former Soviet republics clashed over a border dispute.
According to international media, on Saturday, Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister Zheenbek Kulubaev and Guterres discussed the Kyrgyz-Tajik border disputes, which have killed at least 24 people and wounded 121 others.
Border disputes have dogged the ex-Soviet republics throughout their three-decade independence, with around half of their 970 kilometre-long frontier still contested.
The two sides agreed to a ceasefire on Friday and Tajikistan’s Japarov met his Tajik counterpart President Emomali Rahmon at a summit in Uzbekistan.
But the two countries traded blame for ceasefire violations only a few hours later.
Guterres “stressed the need of prevention of further aggravation of the conflict and the importance of resolving it only through a constructive peaceful dialogue between the sides,” according to a statement by The Kyrgyzstan Foreign Ministry.