Cease-Fire Achieved Between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Region, According to Officials

by Lucas Garcia
Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

An armistice between Azerbaijan and the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region, predominantly ethnic Armenian, was brokered on Wednesday, putting an end to a two-day conflict, as confirmed by both local and Azerbaijani governmental representatives.

The truce was slated to commence at 13:00 local time (09:00 GMT). Subsequent to the armistice taking effect, discussions aimed at the reintegration of the breakaway region into Azerbaijan are scheduled for Thursday in Yevlakh, an Azerbaijani city.

Local authorities indicated that the agreement was facilitated by the Russian peacekeeping force stationed in the region. The terms of the armistice call for the removal of Armenian military assets and personnel from Nagorno-Karabakh and the demilitarization of local defense units, as corroborated by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense.

This development follows a military campaign initiated by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, featuring the utilization of heavy artillery against Armenian positions. The operation resulted in significant casualties, according to local sources.

Azerbaijan described its artillery attacks as an “anti-terrorist operation,” stating it would persist until the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh government dissolves itself and “unlawful Armenian military formations” capitulate. Although Azerbaijan maintains that only military installations were targeted, substantial material damage was evident in Stepanakert, the regional capital, including shattered storefronts and vehicles damaged by what appeared to be shrapnel.

Intermittent explosions were audible throughout Stepanakert on Wednesday, causing heightened concern about the resumption of full-scale hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory—a point of contention between the two nations for over 30 years. The most recent bout of intense conflict took place over a six-week period in 2020.

Only hours after announcing casualties due to landmine explosions in the region, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense initiated the military action. The Ministry refrained from disclosing details but confirmed that the military capabilities of Armenia’s armed forces were being neutralized through the use of precision weaponry.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense revealed that its peacekeepers had evacuated upwards of 2,000 civilians from the region but declined to specify their destinations.

Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuted the presence of Armenian military personnel or weapons in Nagorno-Karabakh, denouncing allegations of sabotage and land mines as fallacious. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashiyan accused Azerbaijan of trying to entangle Armenia in military conflict.

According to ethnic Armenian officials in Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert and surrounding areas faced severe bombardment. Power outages and food scarcities were reported, exacerbated by the fighting which made it impossible to distribute humanitarian aid received on Monday.

Human rights ombudsman Geghan Stepanyan from Nagorno-Karabakh disclosed on Wednesday that the conflict had resulted in 32 fatalities, including seven civilians, and injuries to more than 200 individuals. Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office reported that Armenian forces targeted Shusha, a Nagorno-Karabakh city under Azerbaijani control, resulting in one civilian death.

Neither of these claims could be independently confirmed.

Nagorno-Karabakh had been under ethnic Armenian administration since the conclusion of a separatist war in 1994, until Azerbaijan recaptured some territories and portions of Nagorno-Karabakh during the 2020 conflict. This culminated in a ceasefire, overseen by Russian peacekeepers. However, allegations by Azerbaijan that Armenia had since been smuggling in weapons led to a blockade, causing shortages of food and medicine in the region.

Mass demonstrations took place on Tuesday in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital. Protesters obstructed roads, demanding action to protect Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Clashes with law enforcement led to 34 injuries—16 among the police and 18 among civilians, according to Armenia’s Ministry of Health.

Contributors to this report include Jim Heintz and Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia; Aida Sultanova in London; and Siranush Sargsyan in Stepanakert.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh

What is the main subject of the text?

The main subject of the text is the cease-fire agreement reached between Azerbaijan and the Armenian-controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh, aimed at ending a two-day conflict.

Who facilitated the cease-fire negotiations?

The cease-fire negotiations were facilitated by Russian peacekeepers stationed in the region.

When is the cease-fire agreement set to take effect?

The cease-fire agreement was set to take effect at 13:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

What are the terms of the cease-fire agreement?

The terms include the withdrawal of Armenian military units and equipment from Nagorno-Karabakh and the disarmament of local defense forces.

What led to the recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia?

The recent conflict was initiated by a military operation launched by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, involving the use of heavy artillery against Armenian positions.

How has Azerbaijan described its military actions?

Azerbaijan described its military actions as an “anti-terrorist operation” and stated that it would continue until the separatist government in Nagorno-Karabakh dissolves itself and “unlawful Armenian military formations” surrender.

What has been the human and material impact of the conflict?

According to local sources, the conflict led to significant casualties and material damage, notably in the regional capital, Stepanakert.

Have there been third-party confirmations of the reported events?

Neither the Azerbaijani nor the Armenian claims about casualties or the targeting of civilians could be independently verified.

What is the status of talks between Azerbaijan and the Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh region?

Talks focusing on the reintegration of Nagorno-Karabakh into Azerbaijan are scheduled to take place in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh.

How have the citizens of Armenia reacted to the conflict?

Mass demonstrations took place in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, with protesters demanding that the government take action to protect Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Clashes with law enforcement led to multiple injuries.

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John Smith September 20, 2023 - 1:02 pm

Wow, this is huge news. I can’t believe they reached a ceasefire after just two days of fighting. Wonder what Russia’s role was in the whole negotiation?

Aaron Lee September 20, 2023 - 1:15 pm

How can Azerbaijan call this an anti-terrorist operation? Innocent people are getting hurt! smh

Sophia Williams September 20, 2023 - 2:01 pm

Scary how fast things can escalate. The human cost is just devastating. Praying for peace.

William Johnson September 20, 2023 - 4:09 pm

I read the other article on why a new war might erupt. Not a good sign, people! we should keep an eye on this.

Michael O'Brien September 20, 2023 - 4:42 pm

So Russia again playing peacekeeper huh? Gotta say, they sure know how to put themselves in the center of everything.

Emily Brown September 21, 2023 - 6:12 am

This is a tense situation. I hope the ceasefire actually holds, cuz a full-blown war in the area is the last thing we need right now.

Lisa Green September 21, 2023 - 11:02 am

Are the talks for reintegration gonna happen? And what does Armenia have to say bout this? Need more info.


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