November 30, 2023

Brighton Journal

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A new Armenian exodus from Nagorno Karabakh | Defeated by Azerbaijan, the enclave gave up its independence

A new Armenian exodus from Nagorno Karabakh |  Defeated by Azerbaijan, the enclave gave up its independence

The self-proclaimed Republic of Armenia Nagorno-Karabakh announced its dissolution this Thursday as a result of its September 20 capitulation to Azerbaijan’s military superiority.Fear of ethnic cleansing led more than half of the 120,000 people to flee to Armenia. “All state bodies and organizations dependent on them shall be dissolved by January 1, 2024, and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh shall cease to exist.”says a decree signed by its president Samvel Shahramanian.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a territorial enclave with Armenian and Christian populations, surrounded by the territory of Azerbaijan, a Muslim political ally of Turkey, which perpetrated the Armenian Genocide in the 20th century and does not recognize it. Only one supply route is operational between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, which the Azeri government has blocked since December, forcing the enclave’s people to give up their independence through bullets and hunger. This renunciation was imposed on the Armenians – from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Otherwise, last week, in 24 hours, the destructive military campaign that defeated all resistance of the Karabakhs will continue. The danger of continuing to fight is that history will repeat itself with another exodus in the 21st century.

Shahramanian, head of Nagorno-KarabakhHe called on those living in the enclave – and those already in exile – to take heed of the conditions imposed by Azerbaijan.They must “make an individual decision” to return to their homeland or be deported, and in the case of Azerbaijan, Armenians who wish to stay in Karabakh must accept Azerbaijani citizenship and abide by the country’s law.

Threat of genocide

Baku’s speech did not go unnoticed by the Karabaghs who fled with nothing on their backs. About 76,000 of them have arrived in Armenia since last Sunday, leaving the enclave when Azerbaijan reopened the Lachin Corridor. In Yerevan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan condemned Azerbaijan for “ethnic cleansing” and predicted that “there will be no Armenians left” in Nagorno-Karabakh in the coming days. “This is a direct measure of ethnic cleansing, which we are warning the international community about,” insisted Pashinyan, who demanded “political and legal action” from international actors.

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The Armenian accusations were rejected The Baku government responded that Pashinyan’s “cautionary tale” “undermines the prospects for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” adding that Pashinyan is well aware that the current exodus of Armenian residents from Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region is a personal decision. And personal, and has nothing to do with forced transfer.

Support for refugees

Almost all of Armenia is focused on supporting the newly arrived Karabakh. There are food and clothing collection centers in the capital for the displaced, as has happened before, but this time there is no homeland for them to return to. Roads in the south of the country are clogged with vehicles, especially women and children, condemned to start a new life afresh. A part has been transferred to Syunik and Kukarkunik regions. Some refugees say these places are not comfortable: Azeri troops often fire there.

In conversation with Page I12Armenian-Argentine journalist Avedis Hadjian gives his opinion: “On September 19 and 20, with a lightning strike by the Azerbaijani army, Ilham Aliyev’s dictatorship took control of the Artsakh Republic, the official name of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. The dissolution of the Armenian state of Artsakh was a result of the conflict between the Republic of Artsakh, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, which began three years earlier with the 44-Day War. Launched by the fascist states of Azerbaijan and Turkey, it used Islamist terrorists brought in from Syria and Pakistani mercenaries. So, for now, the presence of thousands of Armenians in the historical Armenian territory of Artsakh, under some form of autonomy, is coming to an end. This is a culmination of the Turkey and Azerbaijan genocide program that started between 1915-1923 and resumed in 2020 with the War of Extermination and – I fear – Armenia lost 5,000 soldiers, a lot for a country of 3 million people. Turks and Azerbaijanis are experts at disguising their genocidal campaigns as ‘wars’ and ‘military operations’.

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Origins of the current conflict

The most immediate manifestation of the conflict was the partition of the autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh to the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in 1921 at the expense of the Armenians in the wake of the Russian Compromise. The conflict began in the 11th century with the arrival of the Turks to the Armenian plateau, a part of which was annexed by Turkey. The Muslim Ottoman Empire established an oppressive regime against the Armenians and other native Christian peoples, who became a minority.

The state of Azerbaijan was created in 1918 by the Ottoman government of the Young Turks, which conducted the same 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide that killed 1.5 million people and ended their existence in western Armenia and Cilicia, taken over by Turkey today. Armenians often view Azerbaijan’s government as an extension of Turkey and its historical expansionist agenda.

According to Avedis Hadjian, President Ilham Aliyev is “the epitome of contemporary fascism: He inherited power from his father, Heydar, who ruled Azerbaijan from 1969 to 1987, was deposed during perestroika, returned to power in 1993, and ruled until his death in 2004. Today, his presidential son announced his wife as vice president.”.

The power of oil

Between 1991 and 1994, Karabakh Armenians armed themselves, fought against Azerbaijan, and gained independence. But Azerbaijan began to regain oil revenues and aid from business and political allies such as Russia. According to Hadjian, “Azerbaijan’s recent blitzkrieg is a natural outcome of its tacit alliance with Russia, nominally a ‘strategic ally’ of Armenia, whose territorial integrity it is supposed to guarantee. It was a result of the Azeri victory in the 44-day war of 2020. The limits of Russia’s alliance with Armenia were already seen in the 2016 war, when Russian forces refrained from intervening in favor of their ally Armenia. The occupation of Azerbaijan, the country to which it supplied a large quantity of weapons.”

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The role of the European Union is questioned by many Armenians. In July 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen signed an agreement with Baku that included the purchase of Russian oil. The EU can’t buy from Russia because of sanctions from the war with Ukraine.

According to Hadjian, “Triangular purchases are made by Azerbaijan, which does not have sufficient reserves to supply the European market, and imports from Russia for export to Europe.. “Mrs van der Leyen, distraught after her pony was eaten by a wolf, promotes legislation to control wolf populations in Europe and remains silent about her energy partner’s genocidal actions.”