Armenians are fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijan invaded.


Ethnic Armenians living in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh broke enclave after enclave on Sunday, as Azerbaijan launched a swift offensive to retake the territory, prompting local fighters to agree to a ceasefire.

The country’s state news agency reported that the first evacuees arrived in Armenia on Sunday afternoon local time, and that by Sunday night more than 1,000 people had crossed the border into Armenia.

The International Committee of the Red Cross also facilitated the evacuation of 23 injured patients from the area, the organization said said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

But leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, warned that an early departure could quickly turn into a mass exodus from the enclave, amid fears that Armenians fear that they will face violence or persecution if they choose to stay. .

“Our people do not want to be part of Azerbaijan,” David Babian, an adviser to the president of the region, told Reuters on Sunday. “Ninety-nine percent prefer to leave their historic land.”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken also called on Azerbaijan on Saturday to “protect its citizens and uphold its obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh”. Pashinyan.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan explained.

About 120,000 ethnic Armenians live in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in the South Caucasus that has been a flashpoint for more than 30 years. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a brutal war over the territory.

Despite being located within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders, a ceasefire was declared in 1994, giving Armenia control of the area. In the decades that followed, there were brief skirmishes on the border. But in 2020, another war broke out, and Azerbaijan recaptured parts of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russia, which has ties to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, has sent about 2,000 peacekeepers to guard the Lachen Corridor, the road that connects Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and serves as a lifeline for the region.

But in December, Azerbaijan began restricting the movement of people and goods through the corridor, establishing a government checkpoint in April that it said was necessary to stop arms smuggling. This move angered the Armenians, who took their anger out on Russia.

Pashinyan said in a speech on Sunday that the blockade and surprise attack raise serious questions about the goals and objectives of the Russian Federation peacekeepers.

Azerbaijan launched its lightning-fast operation on September 19, describing it as an “anti-terrorist” operation and calling on armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh to lay down their arms.

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a non-profit data collection and crisis mapping initiative, the operation involved drone and artillery strikes around the main city, Stepanakert, and other towns in the north and south. were included.

The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights said in a statement that the attacks by high-capacity artillery, drones and mortars had “caused dozens of civilian casualties, including children, displaced thousands of local residents, and destroyed residential buildings and basic infrastructure.” The structure was damaged,” the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights said in a statement.

On September 20, Nagorno-Karabakh military forces agreed to complete disarmament. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry claimed victory, saying all weapons and heavy equipment would be surrendered and Armenian armed forces would withdraw from the region.

But the fate of ethnic Armenians remained unclear. Pashinyan said on Sunday that 30 percent of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population had been displaced and that only limited humanitarian aid had been provided by Russia and the ICRC. The Associated Press reported that thousands of people from villages affected by the fighting were brought into the camp by Russian peacekeepers.

“No food, no medicine, no shelter, no place to go, separated from our families, terrorized and fearing for our lives,” he said.

On Wednesday, following the victory of Azerbaijan’s 24-hour ground and artillery offensive, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared that sovereignty had been restored and vowed that his Muslim country would accept Christian Armenians in the future. Will provide coexistence.



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