Kyrgyzstan + 1 more

Kyrgyzstan: Border Conflict - Final Report, Operation n° MDRKG013


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 28-29 April 2021, the tensions between the residents of Kyrgyzstan (Batken province) and Tajikistan (Sughd province) in border areas escalated into an armed conflict, resulting in casualties and displacement of thousands of people in both countries. While the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan engaged in emergency discussions to stabilize the situation, the number of evacuated people grew rapidly within two days from several hundred to several thousand on both sides, with over 40,000 people evacuated on the Kyrgyzstan side. On 29 April, the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan announced their agreement on returning to the status quo and continued to work during 30 April – 3 May on stabilizing the situation in border areas, including on cessation of all hostilities and withdrawal of military forces from the point of contact. By 12 May 2021, the majority of the evacuees have returned to their homes, and the remaining ones have stayed with their relatives, as there were still reports that a significant number of people are fearing to go back and are staying with host families in neighbouring villages or districts.

The conflict, meanwhile, has inflicted substantial losses and damages. In Kyrgyzstan, according to the government agencies’ reports, 36 people died and 173 people were injured as a result of the clashes, including military personnel and medical staff. According to the latest updated information provided by local governments, 220 various buildings were either destroyed or damaged in border villages of Batken district and 168 in Leilek district.

The following table illustrates the breakdown of destroyed/damaged facilities per type and number in bordering communities of both districts:

220 diverse buildings were either destroyed completely or damaged at a certain level throughout Batken province, including 136 houses that were burnt down as the negative impact of the clashes1 . 40,649 people were reported to have been evacuated or fled from the border villages of Kyrgyzstan, out of which 26,288 individuals (7,714 families) were displaced in Leilek district and 14,361 people (3,441 families) in Batken district, according to the local government. The displaced population found refuge with their relatives or host families in neighbouring villages, districts, or resided at temporary community shelters established in Batken and Leilek districts and Batken city (e.g. school, lyceum, gymnasium, sports hall and hotel facilities), as well as a temporary shelter camp provided by RCSK in Ak-Sai village of Batken district and at the temporary camp arranged by the MoES of KR in Maksat village of Leilek district.

Below is a table with detailed information on evacuated people from affected communities of Batken and Leilek districts.

With the situation stabilizing on the border but at the same time with the number of affected people rapidly increasing, based on the reports of ongoing needs assessments, the National Society decided to apply for a DREF to address the immediate needs of the affected population.

As the situation on the border was safe by the middle of May, all collective centres (12) were closed and the evacuated population was assisted in returning to their homes. However, some families were still scared to return to their homes and stayed with their relatives in neighboring villages. Those who lost their houses were accommodated in temporary camps in Ak-Tatyr village of Batken district and Maksat village of Leilek district. Transport was organized for residents so that they could get to their homes and camps (those who lost their houses).

Meanwhile, the government has started implementing the plan of reconstructing damaged houses and the construction of the first 36 houses began on 9 May in Batken city. Families of 36 Kyrgyz citizens whose members died as a result of the armed conflict on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border received new houses constructed by the Government of Kyrgyzstan (GoK) during the reporting period. Moreover, 136 new houses were built in communities of Leilek and Batken districts by the end of November and handed over to those families who lost their HHs as a result of the conflict. In this way, the government of Kyrgyzstan, with its financial resources and with the financial assistance of donor (GoK), has managed to provide new houses to all affected families whose HHs were damaged as a result of the Batken crisis.