Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of breaking Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

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An Armenian Ministry of Defense spokesperson accused Azerbaijan Saturday night of “violation of the humanitarian ceasefire” in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh by firing artillery shells and rockets.Details: the the cease-fire has started at midnight local time (4 p.m. ET), hours after the two countries accused each other of violating a week-long Russia-brokered humanitarian truce that sought to allow the two sides to exchange prisoners and recover the bodies. Azerbaijan did not immediately comment on the spokesperson’s allegation.

  • Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement after Saturday’s announcement that it hailed “the efforts of the OSCE group co-chairs in Minsk and Armenia to reach a ceasefire.” -fire in the conflict zone between Azerbaijan and Karabakh and reduce tensions ”.
  • “Nagorno-Karabakh reaffirms its willingness to maintain the terms of the humanitarian ceasefire on a reciprocal basis, in accordance with the Moscow declaration of October 10, 2020 and the agreement concluded on October 17, 2020,” added the ministry. of Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Affairs.

The big picture: Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of civilians have been killed since the recent fighting began in late September.

  • The recent violence is the worst the region has seen in years and began with coordinated air and missile attacks late last month from Azerbaijan, which claimed Armenian forces were planning an attack (Armenia denies it).

The backstory: Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous region of around 150,000 inhabitants populated mainly by ethnic Armenians but located within the borders of Azerbaijan.

  • The countries have both claimed the territory since the collapse of the Soviet Union, waged war there from 1992 to 1994, and have stood on the brink of new conflicts ever since.
  • Previous skirmishes, while numerous, have left the stalemate largely unchanged. The same goes for a peace process overseen by the United States, France and Russia.

Go further: Armenian Americans rally in US as Nagorno-Karabakh truce fades

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with comments from the spokesperson.



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