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Uzbekistan declares disputed mountain in southern Kyrgyzstan as its territory

Ungar-Too Mountain. Photo: knews.kg

The Uzbek authorities say that the reason why they have detained four Kyrgyz citizens on the disputed mountain of Ungor-Tepa (the Kyrgyz name is Ungar-Too) is that they were illegally acting in the Uzbek territory.

The press office of the Uzbek Interior Ministry reports that the Kyrgyz citizens were detained after a passport inspection in the territory of Chartak district. The men were repairing a Kyrgyz relay broadcast station.

The source says that contrary to their earlier commitments, the Kyrgyz law enforcers are keeping in blockade the residents of Urta-Tukay, a village in Kasansay district. “They are not letting any humanitarian aid into the village. For ten days already they have been keeping in custody an Uzbek law enforcer, who was illegally detained while guarding categorized facilities at Kasansay reservoir,” says the Uzbek Interior Ministry.

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Earlier the Kyrgyz authorities urged their Uzbek colleagues to set free four Kyrgyzs detained near Ungar-Too.

They say that seven Uzbek policemen had cordoned the mountain off a few days before and are still there. The Kyrgyz side insists that the Uzbek policemen go away and give access to the relay broadcast station.

For many years already Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have been disputing whose territory Ungar-Too is. In March, some sources reported that Kyrgyzstan was going to cede the mountain. But the Kyrgyz authorities refuted the reports.

There are a few more disputed spots on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border and also a number of Kyrgyzstan-based facilities operated by Uzbekistan since the Soviet-time. One of such facilities, Orto-Tokoy reservoir has already been given back to Kyrgyzstan.

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