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Kyrgyzstan: The Villages Trapped by Border Discord

Armed Uzbek servicemen guarding a checkpoint in disputed territory around the Kasan-Sai reservoir. The area has long been a source of contention: Uzbekistan believes it should own the reservoir because it was built with money from the Soviet-era Uzbek SSR; Kyrgyzstan says the reservoir is several kilometers inside its territory, and that this gives it ownership rights. (Photo: Kloop.kg)

At the height of the recent border standoff between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a crew of journalists from Bishkek-based news website Kloop.kg made the arduous trek to the remote location to find out more. Kloop reporter Khloya Geine’s account, reproduced with permission here, describes a three-day trip that concluded on March 25 and offers a rare ground-level perspective on developments:
 
The drive from the southern Kyrgyzstan city of Osh to Ala-Buka takes about six hours. The mountainous road hugs the border and there are few road signs to show what country you are in at any given time. The last 40 kilometers of our drive were completed in dimming light.
 

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Kyrgyzstan: The Villages Trapped by Border Discord

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