Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of “ethnic cleansing.”

Sep 23, 2023

Despite the ceasefire, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains tense. Armenia is making serious allegations against its neighboring country before the UN Security Council.

During the UN Security Council meeting, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of “ethnic cleansing” in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan, however, defended its actions as an “anti-terror measure”.

“The intensity and ferocity of the offensive makes it clear that the intention is to complete the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan. According to Mirzoyan, more than 10,000 people have been forcibly displaced, including women, children and the elderly, who are forced to live in the open without food or other provisions. Thousands of families were torn apart.

Accusations against the international community

The situation had been alarming for a long time. But the international community has refused to take the warning signs seriously enough, complained the Armenian minister. The UN Security Council has not responded appropriately in the past. “The rights and security of the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh must be given due consideration and internationally guaranteed.”

Azerbaijan, on the other hand, presents its actions as a fight against terrorists. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov explained: “What Armenia is trying to portray to the international community as an attack on peaceful residents of the Karabakh region in Azerbaijan are in fact anti-terror measures by Azerbaijan,” said he.

There are thousands of Armenian units in the region. These are equipped with heavy weapons such as tanks and other armored vehicles, artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers, mortars and electromagnetic weapons.

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The Foreign Minister continued that these troops repeatedly shelled the Azerbaijani armed forces, fortified their fighting positions and built trenches and military shelters. Bayramov held up photos to support his words. As a result, there was an attack on them, with more than 90 outposts, 20 combat vehicles, 40 artillery pieces, 30 mortars and 2 anti-aircraft missile systems destroyed within 24 hours. Armenia alone bears responsibility for the incidents.

No EU declaration about blockade of Hungary

Baerbock, who was in New York for the UN general debate, emphasized: “Now is the time for de-escalation.” At the same time, the Green politician warned against destabilizing Armenian democracy and called for a complete cessation of military actions. The reports of a ceasefire had been noted. “But what we need is a complete end to the violence.” Azerbaijan has the responsibility to protect the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.

An expulsion or forced migration of ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh is unacceptable. At the same time, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia and Azerbaijan should not be called into question.

German delegation circles in New York said it was regrettable “that Hungary was the only member state that was not prepared to support a joint EU declaration and blocked it.” There were discussions about sanctions that Germany would have been willing to accept.

Putin spoke on the phone with both heads of state

At the Security Council meeting, the United Nations called for “real dialogue between the government of Azerbaijan and representatives of the region.” The top priority is to protect the civilian population.

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Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitri Polyansky said that now it was necessary to “prevent a resumption of fighting and steer the situation back in a political direction.” The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia committed to de-escalation in telephone conversations with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

The authoritarian-run Azerbaijan had attacked the Nagorno-Karabakh region on its territory, which is predominantly inhabited by Armenians, with rockets and artillery since Tuesday morning in an attempt to conquer it. On Wednesday, the militarily inferior Armenians gave up.

Many of them now fear being driven from their homeland or, if they stay, becoming the target of Azerbaijani violence. According to Armenian media, at least 200 people have been killed and more than 400 injured in the fighting over the past few days. Read more about the background to the conflict here.

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