Finally relief has come across for 2000 Uzbek migrant workers who have been stranded for weeks in Kazakhstan – they are now permitted to enter Uzbekistan. Mukhit Otarshiev, the governor of Kazakhstan’s southern Saryaghash district confirmed on July 9 that the migrants have left the Silk Road checkpoint at Kazakh-Uzbek border around midnight.
Uzbek Embassy officials have confirmed that by end of day all the migrants would be allowed to enter Uzbekistan. By July 8 evening, around 3,400 Uzbek migrants had gathered at the checkpoint. Out of these around 2000 workers were already on their way to Uzbekistan on July 9.
Today 500 more Uzbek nationals will leave the site and travel back to Uzbekistan. Uzbek Embassy officials promised us that by the end of the day today, the remaining Uzbek citizens will be allowed to enter UzbekistanMukhit Otarshiev, Governor of Kazakhstan’s southern Saryaghash district
The checkpoint is witnessing regular influx of Uzbek migrants from all over Kazakhstan waiting to return home. Recent weeks had thousands of Uzbek and Tajik migrant workers being stranded in the southern part of Turkistan, with coronavirus induced lockdown in Uzbekistan preventing migrants to return home.
Tajik Embassy also said that around 50 Tajik migrants were at the checkpoint waiting to be permitted to enter Uzbekistan to further transit to Tajikistan.
Majority of migrants who are stranded at Zhibek Zholy checkpoint are males who have lost their jobs in Kazakhstan and Russia due to lockdown induced businesses shutting down.
Many humanitarian organizations along with Kazakhstan local residents have been providing the stranded migrants with food and water and other essential aids. Uzbek Embassy is arranging for safe return of all the stranded migrant citizens back to the country.
The majority of those stranded are male labor migrants who lost their jobs in Kazakhstan after many businesses shut down following lockdown measures. https://t.co/So63jyGZ6F— Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (@RFERL) July 4, 2020