A review of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website reveals some current warnings about Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan that could impact the route we take. Our expedition is still two years away so circumstances could change (for better or worse) before then. We’ll be keeping an eye on the FCO website as we get closer to the big trip.
The FCO advises against “all but essential travel” to the Oblasts (provinces) of Osh and Jala-Abad, noting that an evacuation of British nationals from Osh was completed on June 15th 2010. Reports suggest that between 400 and 2,000 people died during violence in those Oblasts in June 2010.
Our current route takes us directly through Jalal-Abad and Osh en-route to the border with Tajikistan to reach the Pamir Highway so we’re hoping that the route is safe by then.
The FCO reports that there is a general threat from terrorism and that indiscriminate attacks cannot be ruled out, including in places visited by expatriates and foreign travelers. The overall security situation in Tajikistan is said to be generally stable but can be volatile. Overlanders should avoid off-road areas immediately adjoining the Afghan, Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders as they may be mined!
The FCO advises against “all but essential travel” to the areas of Uzbekistan bordering Afghanistan. Caution should also be exercised in areas bordering Tajikistan and Kyryzstan – the Uzbek borders are potential flashpoints and may be land-mined.
There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.
As our route doesn’t take us near to the Uzbek/Afghan border this warning isn’t too much of a concern.