Eurasianet says as recriminations fly over the bloodshed on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, Kyrgyz security body chief’s role is coming under particular scrutiny.

Kyrgyz leader Sadyr Japarov appointed his longtime ally Kamchybek Tashiyev as head of the State National Security Committee (SCNS) in October to dismay among civic activists, according to Eurasianet.   

Their alarm reportedly only deepened when the SCNS writ was expanded to cover the border service, thereby mirroring the structure existing in Tajikistan.

Many have argued Tashiyev’s blustering behavior over the border may in part at fault for what has happened. 

Tashiyev, who spent most of the last decade in opposition, seemed genuinely to want to finally solve Kyrgyzstan’s disputed borders – not only with Tajikistan, but Uzbekistan too.   

Results suggest he fell short on both counts.

In Tashkent, he found a government as keen on a prompt resolution to the decades-old delimitation standoff as Bishkek was. But after the countries agreed a draft treaty for full delimitation in March, he encountered opposition to proposed land and water swaps from communities in southern Kyrgyzstan enraged that they had not been consulted.

Addressing gatherings of the type that once met him with enthusiasm as a government opponent, Tashiyev pledged concessions, undermining Kyrgyzstan’s commitments in the process.

With Tajikistan, Tashiyev faced a negotiating partner reticent to making concessions.  Eurasianet notes Tashiyev’s own stance was also less conciliatory and bound to irritate sensibilities in Tajikistan.

His remarks about Vorukh, a Tajik exclave inside Kyrgyzstan, reportedly proved especially incendiary.

Tashiyev on March 26 said Bishkek had offered Tajikistan a swap deal that would see 120-square-kilometer Vorukh absorbed into Kyrgyzstan in exchange for an area elsewhere of identical size in the southern Batken region.

Ex-Tajik foreign minister Hamrokhon Zarifi branded the comments “contrary to all the canons of the negotiation process, ethics and self-respect.”

On April 9, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon made a trip to Vorukh, where he reassured residents that no swap deal was in the offing.  He inaugurated new premises for special forces there for good measure.

Since hostilities ended on May 1, the two countries continue to contest the narrative of who opened fire first.  The definitive answer to that question may be lost in the mist of battle.

That evening, when an official ceasefire was signed after hours of intense fighting, Tashiyev’s name was conspicuously absent from the document alongside that of his Tajik counterpart, Saymumin Yatimov, according to Eurasianet.  Instead, the now-since dismissed governor of Batken region, Omurbek Suvanaliyev, had signed for Kyrgyzstan. 

Tashiyev did finally make his first public appearance in Batken on April 30

After he emerged from talks with Yatimov the following day, Tashiyev reportedly appeared defeated and deflated.  Yatimov, on the other hand, looked buoyant.

However, none of this reportedly means Tashiyev’s resignation is in the cards.  Eurasianet note that Tashioyev is widely viewed as one half of a tandem with Japarov, having helped ease his companion’s return to the political scene in October.  Instead, three Batken district chiefs have been fired from their positions, while Suvanaliyev has been rotated out of the regional governor post.