Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Over Disputed Territory

Violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan has ensued after an unresolved dispute went ignored.  The land at the center of the conflict is the Narango-Karabakh, the mountainous region being fought for went into a limbo with each country claiming it as their own.

The land in dispute, Nagorno-Karabakh sits in between Armenia to the west and Azerbaijan to the east.  The collapse of Soviet Russia left the two countries with no settlement over Nagorno-Karabakh. Each country believed it was theirs, but Armenians made up most of the population.

On Nov. 8, Azerbaijan claimed to have seized Shusha, known to Armeians as Shushi,  a major city of Narango-Karabakh.  The severity of conflict is constantly changing or failing to last.  There have been many calls for ceasefires that fell through the cracks.  On Nov. 9, the officials from both countries agreed to stop fighting, much to the dislike of the armenian people who felt as though they had lost.  The deal had been made after Azerbaijan had already taken control of Shusha.  That land was surrendered to Azerbaijan.  In a tweet, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev wrote, “We are proud of our people, of our Armed Forces! For our people, these days are the happiest ones,” in response to their success.  

Armenians were then forced to evacuate their homes that were in the ceded region.  Some went as far as to light their home on fire so that they would give Azerbaijan nothing after they had taken so much.  

In an address to the nation, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated, “Armenia and the Armenian people are facing crucial days. There is sorrow in the hearts of all of us, tears in the eyes of all of us, pain in the souls of all of us.” 

Pashinyan goes on in his speech stating, “with the signing of a document such as the joint statement issued by the Prime Minister of Armenia, the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on November 10 caused public despair and raised many questions, and I am supposed to answer all these questions.”

The Prime Minister justified his actions stating, “In a situation arises where the soldier cannot influence the further course of events, it is no longer the soldier that must perish for the sake of the homeland, but the homeland needs to make sacrifices for the sake of the soldier; the commander should not issue such orders as could imply the killing of his soldiers,”  claiming that the conflict was sacrificing the army with little reward.

“As for the content of the document itself, it is really bad for us…” said Pashinyan, but he agreed to the controversial deal to stop the deaths of Armenian soldiers.

The Armenian people have many questions, but one clear demand after the agreement.  There have been many protests calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister after having agreed to the peace deal.  Many protesters have been arrested over the protests taking place in Yerevan, Capital of Armenia.  

Russia’s military has taken a seat at the border to act as peacekeepers, but this conflict involves many more countries.  Turkey has also been involved in the conflict, backing Azerbaijan.  

On December 1, President Aliyev addressed the people of Azerbaijan stating “It is with great joy that I inform you that Lachin district has been liberated from occupation. I cordially congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion…The brilliant victory won on the battlefield has led to this remarkable result – three of our districts, Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin, have been returned to us.”  

Azerbaijan has now gained full control over the areas surrendered to them by the Armenian government.  

Despite the agreement, this conflict is far from over and will require more effort than just a peace deal.  The agreement is a bandage over years of tension surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh territory.  

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