Armenia is targeting civilians during the agreed ceasefire

Weapons are being shipped to Armenia under the guise of ‘aid’, which are then being used to target Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second largest city, killing and injuring civilians and destroying homes and properties, says Azerbaijan MP Könül Nurullayeva.
A destroyed building in Azerbaijan | Source: Könül Nurullayeva

By Könül Nurullayeva

Könül Nurullayeva is a Member of Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan and a member of the Azeri delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

14 Oct 2020

Between 27 September and 11 October, 43 Azerbaijani civilians were killed and 214 people injured by Armenian military attacks. Just under 1,848 civilian properties and homes have also been destroyed. It is crucial for the international community to evaluate these facts. International journalists have verified these data on the ground.

During the Moscow talks on the declaration of a humanitarian ceasefire, weapons and missiles were being shipped to Armenia under the label of humanitarian aid. Those missiles were then fired at civilians during the humanitarian truce. Some neighbouring states are sending arms to Armenia, threatening the already fragile security in the region.

However, both international organisations, as well as the states arming Armenia, should now adopt a peacekeeping strategy and increase the pressure on the occupant country. Sending ‘weapon aid’ to a country that kills civilians and occupies its neighbour’s territories is clearly unacceptable. It is also contradictory to the norms and principles of international law.

“Sending ‘weapon aid’ to a country that kills civilians and occupies its neighbour’s territories is clearly unacceptable. It is also contradictory to the norms and principles of international law.”

Armenia is targeting Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second largest city, shelling apartment buildings and civilian properties in missile attacks and confirming that Armenia’s intentions are to terrorise children, women and the elderly – as they have done since the initial years of the conflict.

Today’s killing of civilians is a continuation of the war crime that occurred in Khojaly in February 1992, known in our history as the Khojaly Genocide. Armenia pursued the same policy during the 26 years of ceasefire, with Armenian snipers targeting civilians and children.

The humanitarian ceasefire, jointly agreed on 9 October following negotiations in Moscow, has also been violated by Armenian forces. On the one hand, Armenia is pleading for peace, on the other, it is brutally killing civilians.

Yesterday, during the humanitarian ceasefire, an ambulance carrying the dead bodies of Azeri soldiers – and flying a white flag – was fired upon by the Armenian armed forces in the liberated Suqovushan area. As a result, one medical worker was severely injured.

This means that none of the documents adopted by the international organisations involved carries any significant weight for Armenia. The country has never respected international norms and principles or the responsibilities that come from belonging to international organisations.

It has always aimed at strengthening the status-quo, maintaining it and preserving occupied territories regardless of the principles developed by the OSCE Minsk Group and the UN Security Council’s resolutions calling for the immediate withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied lands.

Armenia’s main aim is to preserve the seven regions around the Nagorno-Karabakh under their occupation, labelling them as their ‘security zone’. The reality, however, is that security in the modern world must be ensured through political means, as also stated by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.

“It is crucial for the international community to evaluate these facts. International journalists have verified these data on the ground.”

Azerbaijan has always been in favour of a diplomatic solution to the conflict and has had the same perspective in the peace talks since their beginning. However, Armenian provocations and the attempt to alter the format of the talks made the escalation in the conflict zone inevitable.

Today the world recognises the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia is violating the negotiations process by refusing to adhere to basic principles: in other words, those that require Armenia to return the occupied lands that belong to Azerbaijan.

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