Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have agreed a complete ceasefire after the worst violence in decades along the Tajik-Kyrgyz border that killed 49 people.

The chiefs of the country’s security bodies announced the agreement in a joint briefing in Kyrgyzstan’s Batken region. 

Kyrgyz media reports say the negotiations began in the evening of May 1 and lasted until 3 a.m. of May 2.  The chiefs of the security agencies of Tajikistan (Saymumin Yatimov) and Kyrgyzstan (Kamchybek Tashiyev) heading the country’s delegations signed the protocol on ceasefire and withdrawal of troops. 

The parties reportedly also agreed to intensify work on further description of grade line of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border in the remaining disputed areas. 

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and his Kyrgyz counterpart Sadyr Japparov also head a telephone conversation on May 1 to discuss further steps.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone with his counterparts in both countries, urging them to stick to the ceasefire agreement, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry press service. 

Recall, the clashes broke out last week along the frontier between Tajikistan's Sughd province and Kyrgyzstan's southern Batken region because of a dispute over a water distribution facility located in the upper reaches of the Isfara River, which both countries claim as their own.

Villagers from opposing sides hurled rocks at each other and border guards joined the fray with assault rifles, machine guns and mortars.

Kyrgyz authorities reported 34 people killed, all but three of them civilians, and 132 wounded.  Kyrgyzstan is observing two days of official mourning for people who died in Batken region.

Local government sources in Tajikistan said 15 people had been killed on its side, including six border guards and one policeman.

The European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Russia have all urged both sides to respect the cease-fire agreement.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges an immediate investigation to hold either side responsible for laws-of-war violations against civilians.

The border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Border talks between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan began in 2002.  The countries share 976 kilometers of border – of which only 504 kilometers has reportedly been properly delineated, leading to tensions for the past 30 years.