UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to “enter into a dialogue for a lasting ceasefire” as the two former Soviet republics clashed over a border dispute.
According to international media, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Zheenbek Kulubaev and Guterres spoke on Saturday about the Kyrgyz-Tajik border disputes, in which at least 24 people have been killed and 121 others injured.
Border disputes have dogged the ex-Soviet republics throughout their three-decade independence, with about half of their 970-kilometer-long border still in dispute.
The two sides agreed a ceasefire on Friday and Tajik Japarov met his Tajik counterpart, President Emomali Rahmon, at a summit in Uzbekistan.
But the two countries blamed the ceasefire violations just hours later.
Guterres “emphasized the need to prevent further aggravation of the conflict and the importance of resolving it only through constructive peaceful dialogue between the parties,” a statement from Kyrgyzstan’s foreign ministry said.