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Country Reports
KYRGYZSTAN, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: Six Kyrgyz soldiers were reported to have been killed by landmines during border conflict in mid-1999. Uzbekistan is reported to have laid new mines on its border with Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan has not acceded to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Kyrgyzstan voted for the pro-ban UN General Assembly resolutions from 1996-1998, but was absent from the vote on the 1999 resolution supporting the Mine Ban Treaty. Kyrgyzstan is not known to have made any statements on landmines, or attended any diplomatic meetings on landmines, in 1999 or 2000. Kyrgyzstan is not a party to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons, nor is it a member of the Conference on Disarmament.

According to a Russian diplomat, Kyrgyzstan has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines, but did inherit a stockpile from the Soviet Union. He said that the stocks are very old, storage dates have expired, and many of the mines are “of special menace” because they have liquid explosive, which cannot be destroyed cheaply.[1]

In June-September 1999 an armed conflict took place near Botkem, close to the border with Uzbekistan. An armed group from Tajikistan intruded into Kyrgyz territory and was repelled during combat actions in which Kyrgyz armed forces and Uzbeki air forces took part.[2] In the fighting, twenty-seven Kyrgyz servicemen were reported to have been killed, six by landmines.[3] It is unknown who laid the landmines.

As a result of the conflict Uzbekistan is reported to have reinforced its unmarked border with Kyrgyzstan with landmines.[4] One of the reported cases is the mining by Uzbeki military of territory near the Kyrgyz settlement of Boz Adyr, which is a disputed area of the Kyrgyz-Uzbeki border. Initially the area was marked with warning signs, which later disappeared.[5]

There are landmines on the Kyrgyz-China border, laid during the time of the Soviet Union. How much of the Kyrgyz-China border is mined or how many mines are laid is unknown. However, in early 1999, Kyrgyzstan began discussions with China on how to clear the border minefields between the two countries.[6] Also Kyrgyzstan has sought help from the United States in the demarcation of its border with Uzbekistan. The U.S. government plans to donate $3 million to help resolve the border problems. After the Russian Border Service troops withdrawal from Kyrgyzstan in 1999, the Kyrgyz leadership has been faced with the problem of the protection of their borders with China and Uzbekistan.

The number of landmine victims in Kyrgyzstan is not known. Kyrgyzstan is not thought to have made any contributions to international mine action programs.


[1] Analytical Note by Andrei Malov, Senior Counselor, Department of International Security, Disarmament and Arms Control, RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 May 2000.
[2] Interview with Asel Otorbaeva, correspondent of Vecherny Bishkek daily, and Marat Bozgunchiev, Director of the WHO Information Center for republics of Central Asia, 17 May 2000.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Email communication with Nick Megoran of Eurasia Insight, Central Eurasia Project, regarding the situation on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border, 22 June 2000 and 1 July 2000; Daniyal Karimov, article in Delo newspaper, 3 May 2000.
[5] Daniyal Karimov, article in Delo newspaper, 3 May 2000.
[6] Correspondence from International Committee of the Red Cross official, Tashkent, 13 January 1999.