Christian enclave ends decades-long conflict with surrender, but fears of genocide remain high – Magazine Creations

The Armenian population in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has agreed to Azerbaijan’s ceasefire proposal, but talks remain ongoing amid fears of continued repression and possible genocide.

“Realizing the unsustainable nature of their military losses as well as the futility of their efforts to use Armenian residents as human shields, the illegal junta leaders expressed their willingness to surrender within hours of the initiation of counter-terrorist measures.” Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry told Fox News Digital.

Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, which calls itself the “Republic of Artsakh”, surrendered after Azeri forces broke through their lines and captured a number of strategic points, seemingly ending a decades-long conflict with Azerbaijan.

A statement from Artsakh Republic after the handover criticized much of the world for “inadequate” action and failure to protect the 120,000 Christians in the region from what Armenia and its supporters claim amounted to the start of a genocide.


“Taking all of this into account, the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh accept the proposal of the command of the Russian peacekeeping corps for a cease-fire,” the Artsakh statement said, adding that the cease-fire would take effect at 13:00 local time on Wednesday.

Karabakh forces agreed to disband and disarm, and Azerbaijan confirmed the ceasefire and surrender. All ammunition and heavy military equipment would be handed over, and Russian peacekeepers stationed in the area would help coordinate ceasefire details.

Russian peacekeepers evacuate civilians following an offensive operation by the Azerbaijani armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated region, in an undisclosed location, in this video still image released on Sept. 21, 2023. (Russian Ministry of Defense/Handout via Reuters)

David Babayan, an adviser to the breakaway Armenian leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, Samvel Sakhramanyan, told Reuters that talks were still ongoing and that the Armenian population was demanding guarantees under certain conditions before agreeing to a final deal. When asked about giving up arms, Babayan said his people could not be left to die, so security guarantees were needed first.

“Many questions still need to be resolved,” he said. “At any moment they could destroy us, engage in genocide against us.”


Armenia has maintained control of the region since 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union, but Azerbaijan regained control in 2020 after six weeks of violent clashes between the two countries. Russia helped broker the initial peace deal and has since claimed to have agreed to further peace deals on two occasions – most recently in March this year – after a deadly weekend clash.

Christian tradition of the enclave

Russian peacekeepers evacuate civilians following the offensive operation by the Azerbaijani armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated region, in this still image from video released on September 21, 2023. (Russian Ministry of Defense/Handout via Reuters)

Much of the recent tension has stemmed from Azerbaijan’s blockade of the region, which has starved Nagorno-Karabakh of much-needed resources in a way that Armenia and its supporters.

Rep. Chris Smith, RN.J., sent a letter to the Biden White House asking him to speak on the issue, and former International Criminal Court attorney general Luis Moreno Ocampo argued there was a “reasonable basis” to believe the blockade amounted to genocide .

Azerbaijan’s defense minister insisted that Tuesday’s attack, which the government has consistently called an “anti-terrorist operation,” was aimed at “legitimate military targets and military infrastructure,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

hand over Nagorno-Karabakh

Demonstrators gather near the government building in support of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh following the offensive operation of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the region, during a rally in Yerevan, Armenia, on September 20, 2023. (Reuters/Irakli Gedenidze)

Azerbaijan claims the attack resulted in the loss of 60 combat positions, 20 combat vehicles, more than 40 pieces of heavy artillery, 30 mortars, six “modern electronic warfare systems” and two anti-aircraft missile systems in total destruction of enemy forces.


The Azerbaijani government also claimed that the number of alleged weapons and fortified positions showed that Armenia had maintained “illegal militarization” in the region “in clear violation of its commitments to withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan.”

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry told Fox News Digital that it would begin “meaningful and peaceful dialogue” with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh about reintegration into the “legal and political framework of Azerbaijan,” including “genuine representatives of the local Armenian population … on an ongoing basis.” present and looming threat of military provocation.”

Nagorno-Karabakh in Yevlakh

Azerbaijani representatives Ramin Mammadov, Bashir Hajiyev and Ilkin Sultanov attend talks with members of the Armenian delegation from Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Yevlakh, Azerbaijan, on September 21, 2023. (Reuters/Stringer)

However, the foreign ministry insisted that the process could not begin until certain conditions regarding Armenia’s alleged involvement were met. Azerbaijan has consistently referred to Nagorno-Karabakh as a “puppet regime” for Armenia and accused Armenia of maintaining an illegal armed presence in the region.

“It should be emphasized that by eliminating the dangers and threats associated with the illegal presence of the Armenian armed forces on its territory, Azerbaijan is fully committed to providing its Armenian residents with rights and freedoms to which the citizens of Azerbaijan are fully entitled, in national and international law, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities,” the foreign ministry said.


Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan insisted that Armenia was not involved in the negotiations and acceptance of the ceasefire and further argued that the fact that Azerbaijan mentioned Armenia in its statements served as evidence that the aim was to drag his country into armed conflict.

“The mention of the name of the Republic of Armenia in a text that has essentially nothing to do with the Republic of Armenia justifies my assumption, approach and assessment that I made yesterday that one of the objectives of the attack on Nagorno-Karabakh is to drags the Republic of Armenia. in military actions,” Pashinyan said Wednesday in a press release.


“Of course, I have an assessment, that if it were possible to drag Armenia into military operations, the deep goal would be the independence and sovereignty of Armenia.” Pashinian saidadding that his government will continue to monitor the situation as evacuations begin for those wishing to leave the area.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the time of the phone call between President Vladimir Putin and Armenia’s Pashinyan has yet to be determined.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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