NAGORNO KARABAKH CONFLICT
A small section of western Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh, has been the subject of a longstanding, intense political dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to a report by Human Rights Watch:
The current unrest began in 1988, as Armenian national groups both in Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia proper began a campaign for a union of the two areas. The campaign which began with demonstrations led to bloodshed and violence between Azeris and Armenians, and by 1992 the violence had become a full-scale war.
In 1993, the war outgrew Nagorno-Karabakh itself, with almost all the fighting spilling over into Azerbaijan proper, as forces from the Republic of Armenia conducted large-scale operations that resulted in the seizure of all the Azeri-populated provinces surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh on the south, west, and east.
In total, around 25,000 people were killed and more than a million people – most of them Azeris – lost their homes and became refugees. A self-proclaimed “Nagorno Karabakh Republic”, which is recognized by no international body, was carved out of the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan.
As a result, an astounding 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s population currently lives as refugees and internally displaced persons, the highest percentage of internal refugees of any nation in the world. Yet, with some notable exceptions, the world largely ignores this conflict.
One of the most brutal events in the conflict was the Khojaly Tragedy. On the night of February 25, 1992, Armenian troops launched an attack on the village of Khojaly. The panicked villagers began to flee the fighting, and were brutally fired upon by the attacking soldiers. By the end of the night, 613 people had been killed, over 1200 were tortured and 155 remain missing. Click here for more information about the Khojaly Massacre of 1992.
Beyond the ongoing humanitarian crisis, the prospect of renewed military conflict over Nagorno Karabakh poses a very real threat to regional security, the global energy market and the political stability of the South Caucasus. Consequently, the time has come for renewed international efforts at finding a diplomatic solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that is peaceful, just and honorable for all parties. Click here for more information about the conflict resolution process.
Position of the Alliance
The Alliance supports UN General Assembly Resolution 62/243, adopted on March 14, 2008, which reaffirmed the "continued respect and support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Azerbaijan "within its internationally recognized borders.”
At the same time, we understand that this conflict can only be solved by the elected leaders on all sides. Accordingly, we are working tirelessly to educate elected officials in the United States and Europe on the urgent need to mediate a resolution to the conflict. With their help, we hope to end the bloodshed which has engulfed Nagorno Karabakh for decades, to help refugees – both Armenian and Azeri – to rebuild their lives, and to foster stability and economic development for the entire region.