On September 16, clashes broke out along a section of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. Four people were killed, and more than two dozen wounded. As a report from Eurasianet noted, it was the 12th time this year there have been border clashes, but in this case it was not villages throwing stones at one another -- the fighting started with a firefight between the two countries' border guards.
The Kyrgyz-Tajik border has been a flashpoint for many years now and despite a series of meetings of delegations of the two countries, and a recent meeting of the Kyrgyz and Tajik presidents in one of the areas where fighting has broken out several times over the years, the situation is at the least, no better, and some would argue it is worse now than ever before.
RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderated a discussion on this deadly turn in the situation along the Kyrgyz-Tajik frontier, what, if anything, efforts by the two governments to calm tensions along the border have achieved, and what could be done to improve ties between the border communities.
From Osh, we were joined by Peter Leonard, co-author of that recent Eurasianet article and a veteran traveler and reporter from Central Asia for more than a decade. The other guest we hoped to get had prior, and more important commitments.* So, that left Peter and myself, but we've both been in the Kyrgyz-Tajik border region, so we have seen the signs of trouble growing there.
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