On April 28th, the armed forces of Kyrgyzstan began carrying out attacks against Tajikistan’s armed forces with the goal of seizing Tajikistan’s Golovnaya water station.
Immediately upon the outbreak of war Tajikistan’s armed forces began to strike back hard at Kyrgyz military positions and crossing into Kyrgyzstan itself, particularly in areas near Tajikistan’s Vorukh exclave that is surrounded by Kyrgyzstan. For a brief time during the clashes Google even had put 5 villages of Kyrgyzstan within the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan.
The armed forces of both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are similar in size but Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Japarov didn’t anticipate the fact his soldiers, in their attempt to try to seize Tajik water resources, would face tens of thousands of armed civilians.
A big reason we know about the fact the Tajik government armed its citizens was because over social media Turkish and Kyrgyz social media users were posting it all over and trying to make Tajikistan look bad, but it was a colossal own goal for them as it failed to do so in the eyes of most.
Таджикское правительство раздаёт гражданским оружие. pic.twitter.com/5QpP0tUNkU
— Дофамин (@dofvmin) April 30, 2021
Due to how decisively the conflict was going in favor of Tajikistan, President Sadyr Japarov realized the writing was on the wall and that a ceasefire was needed.
Kyrgyzstan Security Chief Kamchybek Tashiev and Tajikistan Security Chief Saimumin Yatimov signed a ceasefire deal on May 1st formally ending the conflict. Kyrgyzstan pulled its troops back from the Golovnaya water station and other border areas and Tajikistan pulled its troops from most of the border but not the Vorukh exclave.
The ceasefire deal indicated a decisive victory for Tajikistan and the fact no villages were formally incorporated into Tajikistan was the only thing Sadyr Japarov can use to save face. Had he continued the conflict, he would have faced inevitable losses of territory.
The situation on the border is stable now, “The sides have completed the withdrawal of additional military units and equipment from the border…. The joint military commission consisting of officers from the defense structures of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan continue inspecting the areas left by the additional military forces and equipment,” the Kyrgyz Border Service said in a statement.
Tajikistan’s armed forces and armed citizens aren’t letting their guard down as the forces remain quite active in many border areas.
A video reportedly showing tanks of the Tajik army on the move towards the border with Kyrgyzstan.
— распад и неуважение (@VictorKvert2008) May 3, 2021
On both sides of the border the clashes left injuries and deaths but due to the decisive Tajik military victories, the damage on the Kyrgyz side was worse.
Tajikistan’s Prosecutor General’s office also has stated its intentions to go after the Kyrgyz military personnel who were instrumental in starting the war. First it started with Kyrgyz border guards agitating for villagers to attack Tajik workers who were installing surveillance cameras in Tajik territory. They tried to also cut down the pole where a Tajik worker was setting up the camera.
The decisive victory for Tajikistan in this conflict once again goes to show how effective and beneficial an armed citizenry is.
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