Tajiks Buying Up Kyrgyz Homes Near Border
Elmurad Jusupaliev and Gulnara Mambetalieva write in the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR):
The authorities in Kyrgyzstan are concerned that people from neighbouring Tajikistan are buying up homes as residents move away from the south of the country to escape a life of poverty.
Officials have expressed fears that if Tajiks become the dominant population along some parts of Kyrgyzstan’s southern border, it could lead to a form of de facto annexation on a frontier where many stretches have yet to be demarcated.
Tajik officials refused to confirm or deny rumours that people were being given loans to buy homes across the border.
The issue gained national prominence earlier this month when State Secretary Adakhan Madumarov said, “Tajik and Uzbek expansion in the south of the republic is taking on threatening dimensions.”
In remarks quoted by the AKIpress news agency on June 20, he said,
“All the young people in Kyrgyzstan are leaving the border areas, and there is creeping expansion from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan… This is because we are unable to provide them with a decent life. So they’re going off to make money in Russia and Kazakstan.”