Building trust between neighbours in Central Asia
25 July 2012
Tensions and outbreaks of violence between neighbouring villages in the border area between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan arise over unequal access to land and water, disputed borders and historical prejudices. There is also distrust and tension between communities, local authorities and law enforcement agencies. In five villages where Kyrgyz, Tajiks and Uzbeks live in intertwined communities, Saferworld and partners are bringing communities together to improve their security.
This photo gallery shows villagers demonstrating the programme’s achievements during an evaluation visit in March 2012. All photos are by Karen Wykurz.
Saferworld and partners Association for Scientific and Technological Intelligentsia (ASTI), and the Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI) and MIR have been working to improve community security in the border area between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan since 2010.
We are providing community representatives with the skills and support they need to cooperate with local security providers to address security problems in their communities. Positive relationships between community representatives, local government and law enforcement agencies are being built by developing community security action plans together, designed by the communities themselves to address the causes of tension and insecurity.
From our experience in other contexts we know that over time communities become increasingly confident planning and carrying out initiatives themselves – eventually, without any support. With growing trust and confidence, they can also address more sensitive security issues.
Saferworld aims to contribute to wider conflict prevention efforts in the region by building a critical mass of communities and authorities that can address local security issues through cooperation, and by developing practical, evidence-based policy recommendations.
This project is implemented with the technical assistance of the British Embassy to Kyrgyzstan. It does not necessarily reflect the official views of the Embassy.