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Lemkin Institute Statement on Azerbaijan's breach of the established ceasefire agreement and its unprovoked attack on Armenia

September 18, 2022

Lemkin Institute Statement on Azerbaijan's breach of the established ceasefire agreement and its unprovoked attack on Armenia

On September 13, 2022, around midnight local time, the Republic of Armenia began to be bombarded by artillery fire from the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan, a historical adversary whose violent actions threaten the existence of the Armenian people and their homeland.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are two rival countries and former Soviet republics located in the South-Caucasus. Over the past three decades, they have waged two wars over the control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region (called Artsakh by Armenians), which has historically been populated overwhelmingly by Armenians. The last war occurred in 2020 and ended with a cease-fire brokered by Russia. Nonetheless, Azerbaijan has regularly broken the ceasefire and provoked firefights along their shared border since the 2020 war and the ceasefire agreements.

Azerbaijan’s recent provocations date back to the Nagorno-Karabakh war for independence from Azerbaijan in the 1990s. Since then, the Azeri government has been known to attempt to spark renewed fighting with Armenia, notably by moving troops into ceasefire territory and unlawfully bombing Armenian soil, as in the recent provocation. This new aggression, which broke out overnight on September 13th, illustrates how volatile and strained the situation remains.

The recent bombing targeted the Armenian border provinces of Vardenis, Goris, Kapan and Jermuk, but the Lemkin Institue has concerns that it will escalate and reach the capital of Yerevan if immediate measures are not taken to resolve the conflict and oppose Azerbaijani impunity.

The presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey have threatened to erase Armenia from the world’s map on multiple occasions. The Republic of Armenia has estimated that it has lost 135 soldiers in this recent attack. Azerbaijan has also taken new prisoners of war which add to the ones illegally detained by Azerbaijan since the 2020 war. There are also indications that Azerbaijan deliberately targeted the civilian population in the above-mentioned cities.

The Lemkin Institute would like to draw attention to our recent Red Flag Alert on Azerbaijan published on August 15th, in which we called on “all international and state bodies to monitor Turkey and Azerbaijan for genocidal ideology and practices, to place pressure on Turkey and Azerbaijan to cease their genocidal threats against the Armenian people, and to reinforce the security of Armenians and the Armenian identity in the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh, and in Diaspora communities worldwide.”

Once again, we urge the international community to explicitly condemn this attack on the Republic of Armenia and to take measures against the autocratic government of Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey.
International bodies and states cannot continue to ignore Azerbaijan's aggressive behavior towards the Republic of Armenia. If its actions remain ignored and unpunished as they have been so far, the world will soon witness an escalation of the violence and another genocide against the Armenians.

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