The History of Karabakh!

This time, our writer will share some international informaions to all of you. It is about Azerbaijan. When you hear the name of the country Azerbaijan, you must know there is history you should put attention with. That is about Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked region in the South Caucasus, within the mountainous range of Karabakh, lying between Lower Karabakh and Zangezur, and covering the southeastern range of the Lesser Caucasus mountains. The region is mostly mountainous and forested. Nagorno-Karabakh internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. However, Armenia also claimed over 20% percent of the region.

The Land of Karabakh

To get further detail about Nagorno-Karabakh, here we share you the history.

Back in 1923, the Soviet government established the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO), covering a total area of 4,400 км², in the mountainous part of Karabakh. This laid the foundation of separatist trends in the region. But in fact the root cause of the problem goes back to the 18th century when the Armenians, who were resettled in Azerbaijan, laid claims to Azerbaijani lands.

The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started with the Armenians` open territorial claims to Azerbaijan`s historical lands and ethnic provocations in 1988. In the early 1980s, the Armenians in the Soviet Union leadership, leaders of Armenian SSR and the Armenian diaspora abroad exploited the weakening of the central government of the USSR to embark on a campaign to annex the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast to Armenia. Even from 1987 to 1989, more than 250,000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from their historical lands in Armenia, with 216 of them brutally murdered, and 1,154 wounded.

On August 30, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan declared restoration of state independence. On October 18, the Constitutional Act “On the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan” was adopted. On November 26, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted the Law ‘On the abolition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Republic of Azerbaijan”.

In the late 1991-early 1992, the conflict entered its military stage. Having exploited the collapse of the Soviet Union and political instability in Azerbaijan caused by the internal standoff, Armenia began military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh with external military support. In February of 1992, an unprecedented massacre of the Azerbaijani population of the town of Khojaly was committed. Known as Khojaly Genocide, this tragedy resulted in thousands of Azerbaijanis being massacred or captured and the town razed to the ground.

In May 1992, the town of Shusha and Lachin district, located between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, were occupied. In 1993, the Armenian armed forces captured six more Azerbaijani districts around Nagorno-Karabakh – Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan.

On April 30, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 822, demanding immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kalbajar district and other occupied areas of Azerbaijan. On July 29, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 853, demanding immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from the district of Aghdam and all other occupied areas of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On October 14, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 874, calling for the immediate implementation of the reciprocal and urgent steps provided for in the CSCE Minsk Group’s “Adjusted timetable”, including the withdrawal of forces from recently occupied territories. On November 11, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 884, condemning the recent violations of the cease-fire established between the parties, which resulted in a resumption of hostilities, and particularly condemning the occupation of Zangilan district and the city of Horadiz, attacks on civilians and bombardments of the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and demanding the unilateral withdrawal of occupying forces from Zangilan district and the city of Horadiz and the withdrawal of occupying forces from other recently occupied areas of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

International Support

Azerbaijan hopes that the world community will take more resolute and continuous steps to ensure a fair settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict that will pave the way for the establishment of the environment of peace, security and cooperation in the region and to press Armenia into starting work on a final peace deal that implies a final settlement of the conflict based on the main principles proposed by the OSCE Mink Group co-chair countries, which are influential members of the international community.

Many international organizations have adopted numerous documents on the settlement of the conflict in accordance with the principle of Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity.

The UN General Assembly Resolution of March 14, 2008, covered legal, political and humanitarian aspects of the conflict and reaffirmed the principles of its settlement. These principles reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, expressing support for the country’s internationally recognized borders and demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories, reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Azerbaijani population to return to their homes, and reaffirmed that no state should recognize as lawful the situation resulting from the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories, or render assistance in maintaining that situation. The resolution also recognized the need to provide secure and equal conditions of life for Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which would allow an effective democratic system of self-governance to be built up in the region within Azerbaijan.

The conflict has repeatedly been discussed within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Guided by the principles and norms of international law, the organization recognized the fact of military aggression against Azerbaijan. The 21st  Session of OIC Foreign Ministers held in Karachi, Pakistan, back in 1993, adopted a resolution, condemning the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied lands, and urging respect for Azerbaijan`s sovereignty and territorial integrity and peaceful, fair resolution of the conflict based on the principle of inviolability of borders. In other resolutions, the organization urged the UN Security Council to play an active role in finding a political solution to the dispute, ensure the implementation of the four resolutions and recognize the fact of invasion against the Republic of Azerbaijan.

At its 2016 Summit in Istanbul, OIC established the Contact Group on the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Contact Group includes seven countries: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Morocco, Djibouti, and Gambia.

The European Union urged the execution of the resolutions of the UN Security Council, withdrawal of the Armenian army from the occupied Azerbaijani lands, respect for territorial integrity and internationally-recognized borders of the sides, and an end to the internationally illegitimate and forced situation. The Joint Declaration signed at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels on November 24, 2017, reaffirmed the European Union`s determination to support territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of all its partners.

By Annisa Khasa Fadila

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