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War Breaks out Between Armenia and Azerbaijan

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Zareen Afridi
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Tensions broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan at the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area which has been the epicentre of feuds since past two decades. This area comes under Azerbaijan but has been in control of Armenia since 1994. Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked area and a frozen part of Europe; the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan are one of the most tightly controlled borders of the world.

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan declared martial law in their areas, blaming each other for initiating the war. Azerbaijan says that it has responded to the shelling done by Armenian forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh area. Armenia is dominated by Christians while Azerbaijan is majorly Muslim dominated country.

The world has been quick to respond where the UN has called for immediate stoppage of violence in the area. Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blended his full support to Azerbaijan saying that it will stand wholeheartedly by his brother Azerbaijan and condemns the artillery led by Armenia. Russia’s Foreign Minister is in talks with Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the settlement between two countries. France which also has a large Armenian population has asked the countries to peacefully conclude. 

A similar war-like situation broke out in July 2020 where 13 Azeri’s and 5 Armenians had died. Later on, 16 September one Armenian soldier was killed and five days later, an Azerbaijan Seargent was killed. Tensions escalated on 27 September when Armenia declared martial law in its state and Azerbaijan’s Parliament announced a state of war against Armenia. As of today, 94 soldiers and 10 civilians have lost lives on both sides of the border and the number is gradually rising despite attempts from outside to stop the war. 

The dispute dates back to the early 20th century when Joseph Stalin, the ominous leader of the Soviet Union had declared that Nagomo-Karabakh would be under Azerbaijan as an autonomous territory but the Armenians did not agree to this decision. Subsequently, in 1988, the Armenians still in the Karabakh region demanded that the area be given under Armenia. this dispute raised into a full-fledged war up until the 1990s. Consequently, in 1994, a ceasefire protocol was signed in Bishkek which ensured relative stability and peace for two decades. But then in 2016, a deadly ceasefire broke out in April which had caused massive damage and loss on both sides. The scale of loss has been depicted differently by both states but the result was this- Azerbaijan had secured dominance on the Nagorno-Karabakh region and hence the strict security along the border of these regions. 

The Caucasus countries are surrounded by Turkey and Iran to the south and Georgia and Russia to the north. These countries shave also voiced their opinions in an attempt to calm down the situation. The fight is likely to generate world attention with the UN stepping in to initiate a dialogue between the countries. The US and other countries might put in a political angle, considering Turkey has declared its side towards Azerbaijan. Countries like India, France and the UK are still yet to remark on this issue. 

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