State Border Guard Service (Kyrgyzstan)

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State Border Guard Service
Мамлекеттик Чегaра Кызматы
Государственная Пограничная Служба
Kyrgyzstan Border Service.svg
Emblem of the State Border Guard Service
Kyrgyzstan Border Service Flag Obverse.svg
The Russian language banner of the State Border Guard Service
Public Service overview
FormedAugust 31, 2002 (2002-08-31)
Preceding agencies
Headquarters720005, Kyrgyz Republic, G. Bishkek, O. Mederov Street, 163
Employees6,800
Minister responsible
  • Colonel Ularbek Sharesheev
Parent departmentArmed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic
Websitehttp://www.gps.gov.kg

The State Border Guard Service of the Kyrgyz Republic also commonly known as the Kyrgyz Frontier Force is the border guard of the Kyrgyz Republic. It is currently a Public Service department of the government of the republic and is not part of any ministries.

History[edit]

Upon its independence in 1992, Kyrgyzstan took command over the former Soviet Republic's directorate of the KGB's Central Asian Border Troops District which was part of the wider Soviet Border Troops, that numbered at about 2,000 mostly Russian troops. However in late 1992, Russia established a joint Kyrgyzstani-Russian Border Troop Command, which effectively brought the border protection responsibilities under Russian command again.[1] The borders of Kyrgyzstan with post-Soviet states were thus mostly unguarded as the Russian Border Troops mostly concentrated on guarding the borders facing countries such as Afghanistan and China. In August 1999, the duties of border protection was finally transferred from the Border Guard Service of Russia to the Kyrgyzstani government, which would eventually set the basis for the future State Border Guard Service and the tightening of its borders with the neighbouring countries.

On 31 August 2002, the State Border Guard Service of the Kyrgyz Republic was officially established from a merger of the Main Border Guard Directorate of the Ministry of Defense and the Main Directorate of Border Control of the National Security Service, so as to have a more centralised system. Over the subsequent few years, the border guard service would be transferred to and removed from the command of the National Security Service for several times by presidential decree till on 4 September 2012, it was permanently established as an independent Public Service department within the government of the Kyrgyz Republic. Despite the similarities in the scope of work covered, the service is not under the command of the Ministry of Interior Affairs of the republic, neither is it part of the military of Kyrgyzstan.

Since the independence of the republic, it has had many disagreements and even confrontations with the border service of neighbouring countries, including those of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.[2] Several land border crossings with neighbouring countries have also not been consistently opened as a result. The border guard service has also because of the disagreements, taken steps to train and upgrade itself. For example in 2013, the border service took part in a joint military drill with China on the two countries' borders. Additionally it has also requested and received training and equipment from China and Turkey.[3]

Responsibilities[edit]

As the border guard of the Kyrgyz Republic, its primary duty is to protect the territorial integrity of the republic by ensuring that all the borders of the republic are not compromised, be it by other nation states or criminal elements. The border guard does so by deploying troops to patrol and monitor its borders at all times by varying means. A combination of high altitude, rough terrain and an usually high number of exclaves in the republic makes border policing even more difficult.[4] Its secondary role is to assist in immigration formalities at all entry and exit checkpoints in the country, including those at land border crossings and airports. It works together with the State Customs Service in customs formalities too.

Border Guards Day[edit]

Border Guards Day is a holiday celebrated in the republic by active and ex-servicemen of the border guard service. The holiday has its roots from the Soviet times and is still celebrated on May 28. The day is set for the public to also pay tribute and understand the importance of the border guard service in the republic. The date of the holiday was shifted to October 29 in 2003 but due to appeals from the veterans of the service, was shifted back to its original date from 2005.[5]

Incidents[edit]

On 20 August 2012, at the Echilitash frontier outpost that served as the Issyk-Kul border units command headquarters, 19-year-old Kyrgyz border guard Kulbarak Balbai in a state of desertion fired at his fellow servicemen with a rifle instantly killing four; the outpost commander, senior soldier, warrant officer and junior soldier. A fifth visiting civilian wife of one of the guards was also killed as a result of the gunshot fire. The three other Kyrgyz guards who occupied the border crossing outpost fled in a car upon hearing the shooting take place in the main building. Kulbarak later fled the scene in a stolen car and was confronted in a nearby gorge the next day while attempting to defect to Uzbekistan. A firefight ensued between police officials and the gunman, eventually leading to Kulbarak's death.[6] The motive although unknown is believed to be "hazing", which is the bullying of younger servicemen.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hays, Jeffrey. "MILITARY IN KYRGYZSTAN: WEAPONS, TROOPS, POLICY Facts and Details". factsanddetails.com. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  2. ^ "Uzbekistan's Frontier Service: Kyrgyzstan aggravates situation in Sokh enclave". 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  3. ^ "15 Anniversary of the Border Service". 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  4. ^ "Small Exclave Spells Big Problems For Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan". 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  5. ^ "Border Guard Service History". 2017. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  6. ^ "Kyrgyz forces kill fugitive border guard after attack". 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2018-09-07.