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Azerbaijan Asserts Complete Dominion Over Nagorno-Karabakh as Armenian Troops Consent to Demilitarization

by Ryan Lee
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Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

Azerbaijan announced its total sovereignty over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region on Wednesday. This follows an agreement by local Armenian forces to relinquish their arms, after the resurgence of hostilities in a conflict that has spanned several decades.

Officials in the ethnic Armenian enclave, which has operated autonomously without international endorsement since hostilities first erupted in the early 1990s, proclaimed that regional self-defense units would cease operations and disarm pursuant to a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

Additionally, authorities indicated that negotiations would commence on Thursday with the government in Baku regarding the “reintegration” of Nagorno-Karabakh into Azerbaijan.

In a nationally televised address, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hailed the achievement, stating that Azerbaijan had accomplished all of its objectives related to local anti-terrorist activities and had “reestablished its sovereignty.”

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Concerns Over Nagorno-Karabakh’s Future as Both Contesting Parties Agree to Talks

On the preceding day, the Azerbaijani military initiated an artillery bombardment and deployed drones against the beleaguered pro-Armenian forces, who have been further debilitated by a blockade in the southern Caucasus Mountains, an area internationally acknowledged as part of Azerbaijan.

Gegham Stepanyan, the human rights ombudsman for Nagorno-Karabakh, reported a minimum of 200 casualties, including 10 civilians, with over 400 others injured. His data has not yet been independently corroborated.

The military actions exacerbated an already dire humanitarian predicament for inhabitants who have suffered from shortages of essential goods and medicine due to Azerbaijan’s blockade of transportation routes linking Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.

Residents of Nagorno-Karabakh sought refuge in a camp managed by Russian peacekeepers to evade hostilities, while others assembled at Stepanakert airport in hopes of leaving the area.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that hostilities had declined post-ceasefire and emphasized that the Russian peacekeeping forces in the region were wholly accountable for the security of its residents.

Pashinyan, who has formerly acknowledged Azerbaijan’s dominion over Nagorno-Karabakh, reiterated that Armenia would remain uninvolved in the conflict. He also indicated that his administration had “taken note” of the settlement reached by the region’s separatist leadership but had not participated in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, public protests continued in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, with demonstrators demanding stronger defensive actions for Armenians in the disputed region.

The U.S. expressed deep concern over Azerbaijan’s military offensives, according to White House national security spokesman John Kirby, who emphasized that the use of force was categorically unacceptable. The United Nations Security Council has also scheduled an emergency meeting on Thursday in response to Azerbaijan’s actions in the region, following a request by France.

The recent developments have heightened apprehensions over the possibility of a large-scale war resuming between the neighboring countries, who have been embroiled in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since the separatist war concluded in 1994.

During a six-week conflict in 2020, Azerbaijan regained extensive areas of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories that had been under Armenian control for decades. That conflict resulted in more than 6,700 deaths and concluded with a peace agreement facilitated by Russia, which deployed approximately 2,000 peacekeeping troops to the area.

The enduring conflict has consistently involved influential regional powers like Russia and Turkey. Russia assumed a mediating role, while Turkey supported its longtime ally, Azerbaijan.

Subsequent to the recent hostilities, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported casualties among its peacekeeping contingent and noted that more than 3,100 civilians had been evacuated.

The rapid surrender of separatist forces highlights their compromised position, especially after the 2020 defeat and the subsequent loss of their sole transportation route to Armenia.

Experts suggest that the pro-Armenian forces, already weakly equipped, were no match for the Azerbaijani military. While many in Armenia fault Russia for the loss, Moscow refers to Pashinyan’s own admission that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan.

Finally, international concern over the human rights of the ethnic Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh remains high. French President Emmanuel Macron communicated directly with President Aliyev, condemning Azerbaijan’s employment of force and stressing the need for respect for international law and human rights.

Azerbaijan’s Presidential Aide Hikmet Hajiyev stated that the Baku administration is prepared to address the humanitarian requirements of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian populace.

Contributors

Jim Heintz and Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia; Aida Sultanova in London; Siranush Sargsyan in Stepanakert; and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

What led to the recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh?

The recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh were triggered by an Azerbaijani military offensive, which included artillery and drone attacks, against pro-Armenian forces. This followed a prolonged conflict that has spanned decades.

What is the current status of Nagorno-Karabakh?

Azerbaijan has claimed full sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh, as local Armenian forces agreed to disarm under a Russia-mediated ceasefire. Talks are set to begin on the region’s “reintegration” into Azerbaijan.

What is the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh?

The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is dire. Residents have faced shortages of essential goods and medicine due to a blockade enforced by Azerbaijan. Thousands sought refuge with Russian peacekeepers, while others attempted to flee the region.

How has the international community responded to these developments?

The U.S. expressed deep concern over Azerbaijan’s actions, emphasizing the unacceptability of the use of force. The United Nations Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting, and French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Azerbaijan’s use of force and called for respect for international law and human rights.

What role have Russia and Turkey played in this conflict?

Russia has acted as a mediator in the conflict and has deployed peacekeeping troops to the region. Turkey has supported Azerbaijan, its longtime ally, in the conflict. These two regional powers have been significant players in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

More about Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

  • [Azerbaijan declares control over Nagorno-Karabakh](Insert Link)
  • [Russian-mediated ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh](Insert Link)
  • [Humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh](Insert Link)
  • [U.S. expresses concern over Azerbaijan’s actions](Insert Link)
  • [United Nations Security Council emergency meeting](Insert Link)
  • [Role of Russia and Turkey in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict](Insert Link)

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2 comments

NewsJunkie22 September 21, 2023 - 6:10 am

azerbijan takin over Nagorno-Karabakh is cray, hope they rly talk abt peace now

Reply
Reader123 September 21, 2023 - 10:44 am

omg this is a big mess over there y cant they jst stop fighting already n find a peace deal

Reply

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