What Does the Arrest of Kyrgyz Deputy Madumarov Mean and How Will It Affect the Negotiations Between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on the Border?


A member of parliament, leader of the “Butun Kyrgyzstan” party Adakhan Madumarov has been arrested in Kyrgyzstan. According to media reports, he was charged under the article “High Treason” of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic because of the protocol with Tajikistan, signed in 2009, which states that Kyrgyzstan leased Tajik land for 49 years for the construction of a section of the Osh – Isfana highway.

We raised the history of the protocol, and also asked the experts what Madumarov’s arrest means and whether his arrest can affect the negotiation process to determine the disputed sections of the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan?

Adakhan Madumarov is a deputy of four convocations, a candidate for president of Kyrgyzstan in the elections of 2011 and 2017, the leader of the opposition party “United Kyrgyzstan”. From October 2008 to October 2009 he served as Head of the Security Council of Kyrgyzstan.

From left to right: Adahan Madumarov, Sadyr Zhaparov, Kamchybek Tashiev

The protocol on the lease of a 275-meter section of the Tajik highway by Kyrgyzstan for the construction of a section of the Osh – Isfana highway was signed in 2009.

On the Tajik side, the protocol was signed by Murodali Alimardonov – at that time Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan, on the Kyrgyz side – Adahan Madumarov – Secretary of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The lease Protocol was signed on the basis of paragraph 5 “Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on mutual allotment of land plots” dated May 18, 2005.

The text of the agreement stated that Kyrgyzstan would allocate land for the construction of the power line 220 from the “Aigul-Tash” substation of the Batken region of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the “Kanibadam” substation in Sughd region of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Tajikistan would give land for the construction of a section of the Osh-Isfana highway through Tajik territory.

The parties provide each other with land plots for rent for a period of 49 years with a rent of $1 per year.

Tajikistan has built a power transmission line in a short time. However, the Kyrgyz side has not started the construction of the planned section of the Isfana-Osh road for 3 years.

Later, the neighbors changed their decision to build a section of road through the “Tangii Surh” border crossing and began its construction along the Tortgul Canal to the existing bridge in Zarafshon town on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The Kyrgyz side presented a draft Protocol on the need to provide them with a lease for a nominal fee for a period of 49 years of a 275-meter plot of land belonging to Tajikistan, where a dirt road ran and there was a bridge built in the 1980s of the last century by the “Ittifok” state farm of Isfara district.

Until 2010, the Samarqandyk village of Batken district and Leilek district of Kyrgyzstan, due to their geographical location, did not have a direct road connecting them with the rest of Kyrgyzstan. Residents used the Tajik-owned highway through the Tajik settlements of Chorkuh and Surkh to travel to Batken and back, and crossed the border at the “Tangii Surh” border post.

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov has repeatedly questioned the signed protocol, saying that it has no legal force and Adakhan Madumarov did not have the right to sign it.

The last time Zhaparov said that the area of Tort-Kocho (in Tajikistan – Zarafshon) on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border will be given the status quo.

He made this statement on November 17, 2022 at a meeting of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan, where the issue of ratification of the agreement between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on the joint use of the “Kempirabad” reservoir was considered.

Sadyr Zhaparov revealed the details of negotiations on the border with Tajikistan, just responding to the criticism of Deputy Madumarov regarding the agreement with Uzbekistan.

“You say that the protocol on the Tort-Kocho, which you signed, is illegal, you can go to the toilet with it. But the other side does not do this, it takes it in her hands and shows it. I’ve shown it several times already. In Astana during the trilateral meeting (with the participation of the President of Russia) they also showed it, saying that we sign like this and do not fulfill it.

After that, Kamchybek Kydyrshayevich (Tashiev) held talks twice. We have returned it (the Tort-Kocho) and are giving it a neutral status – the status quo. We convinced them, saying that let it be neither ours nor theirs. Unless they change their mind later.

The territory will be neutral – we are passing to Leilek, they are passing to Khoja Alo,” Kaktus.media quotes the President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

At the same time, Zhaparov said that houses would be removed from the neutral zone: There are about 20 houses from Tajikistan, and three or four houses from Kyrgyzstan.

To date, the Tajik side has not commented on this statement by the President of Kyrgyzstan.

The “Butun Kyrgyzstan” party, whose leader is Adakhan Madumarov, is confident that “the protocol of 2009 is only a pretext for the complete destruction of our party and our leader,” the party’s Political Council said in an appeal to the people and the president, as well as to the deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh.

The Political Council of the party declares that since 2020, party members have been subjected to unthinkable threats, psychological pressure, and criminal prosecution.

“The reason for all this is the same – you can’t tell the truth in Kyrgyzstan, you can’t have your own opinion, you can’t criticize,” the political council reports.

The appeal also mentions that, as Secretary of the Security Council, Madumarov had no right or opportunity to make an independent decision, but only followed the instructions of the head of state – President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

It is also said that “the protocol has not been considered by the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan, which means it has no force and should not interfere with Kyrgyzstan in negotiations with the Tajik side.”

The fact that the president and the head of the National Security Committee of Kyrgyzstan are critical of Adahan Madumarov has been known for a long time.

At a meeting of the Jogorku Kenesh on June 2, 2022, Tashiyev publicly threatened the deputy that he would break his arm, put him in jail, and also said the following phrase: “You yourself will be gone.”

And Sadyr Zhaparov, in his interview with the “Kabar” national news agency in June 2022, said that Madumarov was ill because “he sees no one but himself as president. I wish he’d get well sooner. And it would be good for myself, and for the people.”

Adahan Madumarov

photo: azattyk.org

Tattuububu Ergeshbayeva notes that there are a number of protocols signed between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan since 2000, which did not lead to the ratification of the agreements. These protocols usually have the character of intention (preliminary) in international practice.

“It should also be noted that for more than two years intensive work has been carried out on the delimitation of disputed territories between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (today the length of the disputed territories is 417 km). This work is of great importance for the resolution of border disputes, and probably the mentioned protocols will be taken into account in the negotiation process between the parties,” she says.

“I do not know what impact the signing of the protocol in 2009 may have, but the final result will depend on further actions and decisions of the parties,” she concluded.

And according to Abdumalik Kadyrov, by arresting the person who signed the “unfortunate” protocol on the lease of a 275-meter section of road, allowing the Tajik side to consider this section as its own, the Kyrgyz authorities hope to prove to the Tajik side (during negotiations on the delimitation of the border) that the signed document has no legal force.

Although Madumarov signed the protocol, fulfilling the instructions of the Presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which they gave during a meeting in Khujand in May 2008.

“It seems to me that this arrest, although not much, will complicate the process of negotiations between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on the delimitation of the state border, because Madumarov is one of those sensible politicians of a neighboring country who directly participated in the negotiation process and knew all its nuances, including the fact that these 275 meters of road belong to Tajikistan. He also understands that the recognition of this fact by the Kyrgyz side will greatly accelerate the reconciliation process and lead to the long-awaited peace on the border,” Kadyrov added.

But, according to him, the question is different: “Do those who earn political points on this need peace on the border?”.

Source: Asia Plus