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Central Asia Turning to Civilian Militias to Shore Up Border Security

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Two Central Asian countries are taking an extreme step to strengthen security along their borders, but the move is more likely to add to tensions already present along their ill-defined common frontiers, particularly in the Ferghana Valley.

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are forming something like civil militias to help border guards who are admittedly stretched beyond their limits when it comes to border security.

On October 8, Kyrgyzstan’s parliament passed a bill that provides for arming elements of the population living in border areas and training them to work with local border-guard units. These border-guard helpers would be used in "remote mountain areas." About 93 percent of Kyrgyzstan is mountainous.

Ideally, these recruits would be hunters. The state would provide them with uniforms and mobile-communications equipment and pay them a wage for helping border guards keep the watch.

To read the full story

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Central Asia Turning to Civilian Militias to Shore Up Border Security

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