July 21, 2024

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Azerbaijan is going to starve Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians

Azerbaijan is going to starve Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians
Azerbaijani soldiers control border crossings in Lachin, Nagorno-Karabakh region, not allowing food or medicine to pass to Armenians (Europe Press)

After more than Eight months of increasingly strict lockdownhumanitarian situation Nagorno-Karabakh It was a disaster. Bread, the staple food of many, is provided as one loaf per family per day. run out of critical medications; Many patients have too much fuel to go to the doctor anyway. Frustrated residents have taken to social media to trade, for example, homemade eggs for a kilo of sugar. A young mother posted a photo of baby milk with the caption: “I will buy this at any price”.

The blockade represents the most difficult tactic the Azerbaijani government has ever employedTrying to regain control Nagorno-KarabakhIt covers an area of ​​about 4,400 km2 at the center of its decades-long conflict Armenia. Karabakh Azerbaijan has been internationally recognized as a territory since its dissolution Soviet UnionBut the ethnic Armenian forces a The war lasted until From 1988 to 1994 (Armenians constitute the majority of the population). In the second battle, in 2020, Azerbaijan Replaced many of those losses. The Azerbaijani government is now pushing for an agreement that would complete its victory.

Now it completely surrounds the territory. Azerbaijan He practically holds all the cards. Armenian Prime Minister Nicole Pashiniandeclared that it was ready to accept the sovereignty of Azerbaijan About Karabakh and its tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians. Armenians still believe in some kind of guarantee of Armenian rights and security Karabakh. But still AzerbaijanHe is impatiently trying to speed up the diplomatic process, at the expense of the Armenian people, who he says he wants back into the fold.

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In December, pro-government Azerbaijani protesters “blocked.Lachin’s runner”, the only road that leads Armenia from Karabakh. Civilian traffic was banned and exports limited Karabakh Although food, fuel and other basic necessities have arrived in sufficient quantities to avoid severe hardships. But still In April Azerbaijan evicted protesters and set up an official border checkpoint on the corridor; By mid-June, traffic had come to a complete halt. After that nothing went.

Faced with increasing scarcity Karabakh, Azerbaijan provided a lifeline: opening its own highway through which goods could be sent from other regions. Azerbaijan. But the Armenians Karabakh They see it as a horse Troy It leads to Azerbaijan To regain effective control of the territory. They have built their own barricades on the new road with cement blocks. For now, his political concerns outweigh the humanitarian consequences.

International mediators, headed by European union, they try to help both parties find a way out. If a compromise is reached, both highways will be opened, but the governments are at odds over the order. Azerbaijanis have offered to open the corridor Lachine If their road is opened first, however, the Armenians say it is a ruse and demand that both roads be opened at the same time.

It is difficult to get independent information from the inside Karabakh Sealed. But there are signs of a fierce power struggle among ethnic Armenian leaders. At the end of August, Research Harutyunyan, the de facto president, resigned after criticism for allegedly wanting to compromise with Azerbaijanis. And unconfirmed figures are on the rise.

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Meanwhile, there are frequent clashes at the border: Three Armenian soldiers were killed in a cross-border firefight on September 1. Solving this impasse is difficult. But regardless of the outcome, no hope Armenians Karabakh Can live in peace Azerbaijan is decreasing rapidly.

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