So‘x District

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So‘x District
District
Soʻx tumani
Enclaves in Kyrgyzstan EN.png
CountryUzbekistan
RegionFergana Region
CapitalRavon
Established1942
Area
 • Total220 km2 (80 sq mi)
Population
 • Total51 569
Time zoneUTC+5 (UZT)

So‘x District (also spelled as Sokh, Uzbek: So‘x tumani) is a tuman (district) of the Fergana Region. It is an exclave of Uzbekistan, surrounded by Kyrgyzstan. Its capital is Ravon. Another village in the district is Limbur. It is noted that despite being a part of Uzbekistani territory and being surrounded by Kyrgyzstan, its population is nearly 99% Tajik.

Geography[edit]

The territory of Sokh is divided into two parts, separated by Kyrgyzstan:

  • Northern Sokh (or Lower Sokh), including the town of Chon-Qora.
  • Southern Sokh (or Upper Sokh), which is much more extensive than its northern counterpart. The area encompasses nineteen localities with an urban population of 65.9 percent and a rural population of 34.1 percent. It is 99 percent Tajik, 0.7 percent Kyrgyz and 0.3 percent Uzbek.

The exclave's name comes from the Sokh River, 124 km long, which crosses the territory and waters its fertile valley. The exclave is surrounded by the Kyrgyz province of Batken. Sokh's border is 135 km long, with nine border posts guarded by Kyrgyzstan.

Population[edit]

42,800 in 1993 (with some estimates as high as 70,000.)

History[edit]

Together with Kokand, Sokh was one of the centres of the Basmach uprising from 1918 to 1924. At that time Sokh was still directly connected with Uzbekistan. In 1955 Moscow annexed most of the northern section to the then Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. Since then, Sokh has been an exclave within Kyrgyzstan. The Uzbek authorities have made calls for direct land access to the exclave in order to better control it. Passenger and goods traffic has been severely restricted since the reintroduction of visa requirements between the central asian countries. For Kyrgyzstan, the territory required to be given up to allow Uzbekistan a land connection to Sokh would be a bitter loss. It would mean that both good road connections into south-west Kyrgyzstan would go through Uzbek territory, effectively separating the area from the rest of the country.

Sokh is considered today as a possible base of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. In the course of the ongoing Kyrgyz-Uzbek border disputes, the Uzbek side has mined land around Sokh. According to Kyrgyz claims, they have also mined Kyrgyz territory.

Economy[edit]

The economy of Sokh is mainly based on agriculture (potatoes and fruits). The fields are supplied by the river Sokh so that agriculture is only possible in the valley plain. The Sokh valley forms a river oasis in the surrounding, barren grassland. The seasonal migration of the male labour force to Russia is also important. The exclave contains twenty-eight schools, two colleges, three clinics, twelve dispensaries and ten village health centres.

Coordinates: 39°57′00″N 71°07′12″E / 39.9500°N 71.1200°E / 39.9500; 71.1200