Kyrgyzstan has reclaimed 57,800 hectares of land that was handed to Tajikistan in the 1930s for livestock raising. Kyrgyz vice Prime Minister Bazarbai Mambetov announced the handover after a 10 April meeting with a Tajik delegation headed by his counterpart Hojiakbar Turadzhonzoda. The 3,500 ethnic Kyrgyz who live in the village of Sary-Mogol and who have been using the parcel that has now become part of Kyrgyzstan's Osh Oblast are citizens of Tajikistan, which, according to Mambetov, raises questions about the legal basis of land ownership. The Kyrgyz government adopted a resolution on the return of the parcel in October 2002. Mambetov quoted Turadzhonzoda as saying he hopes the ethnic Kyrgyz living there will adapt to being part of their historic homeland, and he asked the Kyrgyz government not to pressure them to quickly take Kyrgyz citizenship.
Eurasianet, April 14, 2003