September 20, 2023
Azerbaijan recently announced the start of "anti-terrorist measures of a local nature" in Nagorno-Karabakh, following accusations that Armenia was behind a terrorist attack. This announcement has raised serious concerns and alarm around the world.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said that Armenian armed forces have been systematically shelling Azerbaijani military positions in the Karabakh region, laying mines, and reinforcing their military infrastructure.
On September 19, a landmine explosion on the Ahmedbeyli-Fizuli-Shusha highway killed innocent civilians and destroyed a vehicle belonging to the Azerbaijani State Road Agency. This is just another tragic example of how the escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh is leading to the deaths of civilians.
In light of these events, Azerbaijan has decided to launch "anti-terrorist measures of a local nature" in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is officially stated that these measures are aimed at:
Disarming and withdrawing Armenian armed forces
Neutralizing their military infrastructure
Ensuring the security of the civilian population
Restoring the constitutional order of Azerbaijan
However, despite Azerbaijan's claims that these are "anti-terrorist measures," the international community is expressing serious concern about the potential for human rights abuses and the humanitarian situation in the region. Many countries are calling for an immediate ceasefire and the start of peace talks to resolve the conflict.
It has also been reported that Azerbaijan has agreed to open the only road linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. This is a positive step that could help to improve the humanitarian situation in the region. However, more efforts need to be taken to achieve sustainable peace and end the violence.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh requires the immediate attention and decisive action of the international community. We call on all sides to the conflict to exercise restraint, to cease hostilities, and to return to negotiations for a peaceful resolution of this long-standing conflict. Only through diplomatic efforts and cooperation can a stable and just peace be achieved in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is a long-standing dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The region is primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, but it is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
The conflict began in 1988, when the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh voted overwhelmingly to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia. This led to violence and ethnic cleansing, and in 1992, Armenia launched a full-scale invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The war lasted for six years and ended in a ceasefire in 1994. Under the terms of the ceasefire, the Armenian forces retained control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.
The conflict has had a devastating impact on both Azerbaijan and Armenia. Thousands of people have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes. The conflict has also hampered economic development and regional cooperation.
The Current Situation
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has remained largely dormant since the ceasefire in 1994. However, there have been occasional flare-ups of violence, and the situation remains tense.
The recent announcement by Azerbaijan of "anti-terrorist measures" has raised concerns that the conflict could escalate. Armenia has denied any involvement in the alleged terrorist attack, and has accused Azerbaijan of using the incident as a pretext for military action.
The International Response
The international community has expressed concern about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The United Nations, the European Union, and the United States have all called for an immediate ceasefire and the start of peace talks.
The United States has also imposed sanctions on Azerbaijan and Armenia in an effort to pressure them to resolve the conflict peacefully.
The Way Forward
The only way to achieve a lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh is through a negotiated settlement. Both sides need to be willing to compromise and to put the interests of the people of the region first.
The international community can play a key role in facilitating a peace process. The United Nations, the European Union, and the United States should work together to bring the two sides to the negotiating table and to help them reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
Only through diplomacy and cooperation can a stable and just peace be achieved in Nagorno-Karabakh.