BISHKEK, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - More than 600 railway cars bound for Kyrgyzstan, with cargo including oil and lubricants, have backed up on the Uzbekistan border following a border clash between the two republics, Kyrgyzstan’s Oil Traders Association said on Thursday.
Unless the border is opened soon, the spring sowing season in Kyrgyzstan which starts in February, could be in jeopardy, the association said.
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan frontier guard officials discussed the situation on Wednesday, agreeing the countries’ governments should address the issue of opening a humanitarian corridor.
Last Monday, regional authorities declared a state of emergency in five Kyrgyzstan villages around the Uzbek enclave of Sokh, about a week after a border clash resulted in injuries on both sides.
Residents of the five villages remain virtually cut off from the outside world after border crossings were closed following an alleged attack by Sokh residents on a Kyrgyzstan border guard post. Five Uzbekistan citizens and an unknown number of Kyrgyzstan border guards were injured.
A bypass road is reportedly being built to alleviate the region’s most pressing problems.
A large group of residents of the Uzbek enclave of Sokh in the Fergana Valley reportedly attacked Kyrgyz border guards at a local post on January 6, and tried to seize firearms from them . The villagers were angered by an attempt by Kyrgyzstan guards to erect pylons for electricity transmission lines without authorization from the Uzbekistan authorities.
According to the Kyrgyz media reports, enclave residents also took hostages from nearby Kyrgyz villages, including women and children. All the hostages were released the following day.
A state of tension has existed between the two central Asian neighbors for several years over interethnic riots in Kyrgyzstan's south in 2010, and disputes over use of water resources.