By EDITH M. LEDERER
August 15, 2023
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting Wednesday in response to a call from Armenia saying the mainly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh in neighboring Azerbaijan is blockaded and 120,000 people are facing hunger and “a full-fledged humanitarian catastrophe.”
Armenia’s U.N. Ambassador Mher Margaryan asked for the meeting on the dire situation in Nagorno-Karabakh in a letter to the ambassador of the United States, which holds the Security Council presidency this month.
The U.S. Mission to the U.N. said Monday the emergency open meeting will take place on Wednesday afternoon.
In his letter to Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Margaryan said Azerbaijan’s complete blockade since July 15 of the Lachin Corridor – the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia – has created severe shortages of food, medicine and fuel.
“The deliberate creation of unbearable life conditions for the population is nothing but an act of mass atrocity targeting the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh and forcing them to leave their homeland,” he said, stressing that this constitutes “an existential threat to them.”
Margaryan asked the Security Council, which is charged with ensuring international peace and security, “to prevent mass atrocities including war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide.”
Nagorno-Karabakh came under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by the Armenian military in separatist fighting that ended in 1994. Armenian forces also took control of substantial territory around the Azerbaijani region.
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