Azerbaijan and Armenia agree to a cease-fire

By Zahra Memon
Correspondent

On Sunday, April 3, Azerbaijan and Armenia, neighboring countries located in the South Asian subcontinent, agreed on a cease-fire after feuding for decades. In the four days prior to the cease-fire, fighting between the two escalated, CNN reported. The Armenian separatists and Azeri defense ministry publicized the cease-fire, calling an end to the war.

However, according to CNN, after the cease-fire, the Armenian News Agency reported that Azerbaijan continued to attack the Armenians. Martakert, a region in Nagorno-Karabakh, has been the reason for dispute and is currently occupied by Armenian forces, but claimed by Azerbaijan.

This dispute has been brutal for Christian Armenians and the Muslim Azeris. Between Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, the Azeris lost 16 troop members within two days of the conflict, according to BBC. The Armenian-Azeri conflict has been the root cause of instability in Azerbaijan, which is a country known for its vast amount of oil and gas exportation. As a result of the this ongoing conflict, approximately 1 million people have been displaced and 30,000 have died in Azerbaijan, BBC reported.

Armenia lost 20 troops and were missing 26 other troops, MediaMax News reported, according to BBC.

Armenia’s main allies have primarily been Russia, while Turkey has been actively supporting Azerbaijan in the war. However, Turkey and Russia have been in a recent stalemate due to the treacherous conflicts in Syria.

The war began more than two decades ago when Soviet republics were fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. BBC reported that these mountainous regions comprise 1,700 square miles of land and an adjacent territory in Azerbaijan.

In 1991, Azerbaijan gained independence from the Soviet Union after claiming sovereignty in 1988, according to CNN. The mountainous regions of Azerbaijan have been controlled by the Armenians since the 1990s. The land has been incessantly in a state of dispute because of the Armenian separatists. A cease-fire took place in 1994, but recently was broken. According to CNN, both countries blame each other. Armenia maintains that Azerbaijan provoked the fighting, but Azerbaijan believes that Armenian troops were attacking their civilians first.

According to BBC, the United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have been deeply concerned about the situation in Azerbaijan and Armenia and have explicitly stated that the war should come to an end.

“We urge the sides to show restraint, avoid further escalation and strictly adhere to the cease-fire,” the U.S. State Department said. “We reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict,” CNN reported. Additionally, the United Nations has clearly stated their support for the Azeris to keep their land while the Armenians should withdraw all their troops and weapons, according to BBC.

1 Comment on Azerbaijan and Armenia agree to a cease-fire

  1. Either the correspondent who wrote this is extremely ignorant and only did a cursory search into the history behind this conflict, or she purposefully wrote a horribly biased article; either way, it reflects extremely poorly on The Signal for publishing it.
    First of all, neither Armenian nor Azerbaijan are located “in the South Asian subcontinent” – they are actually located in the Caucasus, a mountainous region in between the European and Asian continents.
    Secondly, I love how this article refers to Armenians as ‘separatists,’ yet fails to mention that the Nagorno-Karabakh region has been inhabited by Armenians, and considered as an Armenian province for over 2,000 years.
    The root cause of this decades long conflict is not at the hands of the “Armenian separatists” as the writer of this article would have you believe, but due to the fact that when Armenia and Azerbaijan were both a part of the Soviet Union, Stalin put the region under Azeri control for political reasons. When Armenia and Azerbaijan regained their independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, the conflict over the Karabakh region resurfaced, which lead to a war that broke out in the early 1990s between the two countries, and culminating with the Armenians securing the land that was rightfully theirs.
    Here are some interesting questions to ponder: if Karabakh actually belonged to Azerbaijan, then why are there hundreds of ancient Armenian churches, monasteries, and cemeteries in the region that were built several hundred years ago? Why is the population over 90% Armenian?

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