Azerbaijani forces move into further territory ceded by Armenia in brokered truce – National

The Azerbaijani army has entered the Kalbajar region, one more territory ceded by Armenian forces in a truce that ended deadly fighting over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said Wednesday.

The cease-fire, brokered by Russia two weeks ago, stipulated that Armenia hand over control to Azerbaijan of some areas its holds outside Nagorno-Karabakh’s borders. The first one, Aghdam, was turned over last week.

Read more:
‘Extremely painful’: Armenia orders end to fighting with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

Kalbajar was expected to be handed over on Nov. 15, but Azerbaijan agreed to delay the takeover after a request from Armenia. Azerbaijani officials said worsening weather conditions made the withdrawal of Armenian forces and civilians difficult along the single road through mountainous territory that connects the region with Armenia.

Footage on Wednesday showed Azerbaijani troops slowly moving through snowy terrain, looking for mines. “Engineering work has been completed to ensure the movement of our units in this direction, the difficult mountain roads along the route of the troops’ movement are being cleared of mines and prepared for use,” the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry said.

Story continues below advertisement

Click to play video 'Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Protesters storm Armenian government building after peace deal'

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Protesters storm Armenian government building after peace deal

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Protesters storm Armenian government building after peace deal – Nov 10, 2020

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. That war left not only Nagorno-Karabakh itself but substantial surrounding territory in Armenian hands.

Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh broke out on Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict between the two ex-Soviet nations in over a quarter-century, killing hundreds and possibly thousands of people.

Read more:
Armenia must negotiate Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan, Erdogan tells Putin

The latest truce halted the violence after several failed attempts to establish a lasting cease-fire. It was celebrated as a victory in Azerbaijan, but sparked mass protests in Armenia, with thousands taking to the streets to demand the ouster of the country’s prime minister.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the handover, some ethnic Armenians leaving Kalbajar set their houses on fire in a bitter farewell gesture.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

Source link

After the truce. A quick guide to the latest developments in the aftermath of the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh

One week has passed since Yerevan and Baku announced the ceasefire that ended six-weeks of deadly conflict in the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Since then, Russian peacekeepers have entered the region and Azerbaijan is preparing to take control of nearly half of its territory on December 1. Meanwhile, in Armenia, protests are continuing over the truce, which is widely perceived as a capitulation, and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is facing increasing pressure to resign. Meduza breaks down the latest developments since the signing of the Nagorno-Karabakh truce on November 10.

Source link

Armenian PM defends Nagorno-Karabakh truce amid protests in Yerevan

Armenia”s prime minister Nikol Pashinian defended an agreement to halt fighting with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, saying the deal had prevented other cities from being seized.

Speaking on Wednesday, he said the region’s largest city Stepanakert — known to Azerbaijanis as Khankendi — had been among those at risk of falling after the main supply road from Armenia was cut off.

“If hostilities continued, there was a very high probability that Stepanakert, Martuni, Askeran would have been captured, after which our second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth defensive areas would be under a blockade, and thousands of our soldiers would also be under a blockade,” Pashinian said.

But protesters were on the streets of the Armenian capital Yerevan for a fourth successive day on Wednesday demanding the prime minister’s resignation.

Several demonstrators were detained by police and security forces.

Meanwhile in Baku, there were scenes of celebration earlier this week, with the streets of the Azerbaijani capital were rammed with traffic, and people danced on cars, waving the flags of both Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Armenia ‘has been sold out’

The agreement to stop fighting, which took effect earlier this week, calls for the deployment of nearly 2,000 Russian peacekeepers, as well as territorial concessions.

In all, 1,960 Russian peacekeepers will be sent to the region under a five-year mandate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that the peacekeepers would be deployed to patrol frontlines.

But many Armenians remain angry at what they perceive to be a defeat in the conflict.

Journalist Jack Losh, who is in Yerevan, told Euronews spoke an orthopaedic doctor volunteering at a hospital in the city Stepanakert/Khankendi.

“He told me was that carrying [out] ten to eleven amputations per day from soldiers and civilians alike who were getting wounded in the artillery fire,” Losh said.

“He told me: ‘we Armenians are stuck in a game between the great powers. We’ve lost out and we have been sold out.'”

Georgia ‘feeling the pressure’

Emil Avdaliani, an academic at the European University in Tbilisi, warned mainly people in neighbouring Georgia were concerned about Russia’s growing influence in the southern Caucasus.

“One country which feels particularly uneasy about this is of course Georgia,” he told Euronews on Wednesday.

“With two military bases on Georgian soil now, basically everyone from the Georgian political establishment and among the analysts too, they see that Russian influence now in the region will be increasing rather than declining.

“So the country is feeling pressure, feeling the increase of Russian influence now around its borders.

Source link

Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of violating new truce

Related Topics

  • Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

image copyrightReuters

image captionA man removes debris in the Nagorno-Karabakh capital, Stepanakert

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of violating a humanitarian ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh within minutes of it coming into force.

A truce had been agreed to start at midnight local time (20:00 GMT Saturday).

But an Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman said Azerbaijan broke the ceasefire after just four minutes by firing artillery shells and rockets.

Azerbaijan is yet to respond to the allegations.

The decision on the ceasefire was taken in line with agreements that led to a ceasefire being signed last weekend. However, clashes continued despite that accord.

Fighting flared last month over a region internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but which is run by ethnic Armenians. Hundreds have died.

This is the worst violence in the region since a six-year war over the territory ended with a ceasefire in 1994.

  • What are Armenia and Azerbaijan fighting over?

  • Karabakh war leaves civilians shell-shocked and bitter
  • Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in pictures

Earlier on Saturday, both nations continued to trade accusations over violations of the Russian-brokered truce agreed last weekend and doubts are likely to remain following the latest statements.

What is the latest agreement?

Both nations confirmed the humanitarian truce, although few other details were given.

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said the decision was based on statements by the presidents of the US, France and Russia, representing the OSCE Minsk Group – a body set up in 1992 and chaired by the three countries to mediate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

image copyrightEPA
image captionRescue workers at the scene of damage in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja

Anna Naghdalyan, spokesperson for Armenia’s foreign ministry carried the same statement in a tweet, adding it welcomed efforts towards a “ceasefire and de-escalation of tension” in the conflict zone.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who negotiated last weekend’s accord, spoke to counterparts in both countries on Saturday and said they needed to “strictly follow” the earlier agreement.

What is the latest on the ground?

“The enemy fired artillery shells in the northern direction from 00:04 to 02:45, (20:04 to 22:45 GMT Saturday) and fired rockets in the southern direction from 02:20 to 02:45,” Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan said on Twitter.

Azerbaijan accused Armenia of a missile strike in the early hours of Saturday that killed at least 13 civilians and injured 45 in Ganja, a city far from the front lines.

A foreign ministry statement accused Armenia of “deliberate and indiscriminate targeting of civilians”.

media captionA ceasefire agreement has failed to stop the killing in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian officials denied the attack, and accused Azerbaijan of attacking civilian areas.

Ms Stepanyan posted a video on Facebook which she said showed devastation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, accusing the Azerbaijani Armed Forces of striking at civilians with missiles in areas including the Nagorno-Karabakh capital, Stepanakert.

media captionUnder fire in Nagorno-Karabakh

Nagorno-Karabakh – key facts

  • A mountainous region of about 4,400 sq km (1,700 sq miles)
  • Traditionally inhabited by Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks
  • In Soviet times, it became an autonomous region within the republic of Azerbaijan
  • Internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but majority of population is ethnic Armenian
  • An estimated one million people displaced by war in 1988-1994, and about 30,000 killed
  • Separatist forces captured some extra territory around the enclave in Azerbaijan in the 1990s war
  • Stalemate has largely prevailed since a 1994 ceasefire
  • Turkey openly supports Azerbaijan
  • Russia has military bases in Armenia

Related Topics

Source link

Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to temporary truce

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a temporary truce on Friday after 12 days of deadly fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The ceasefire was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shortly before midnight Moscow time following 11-hour talks between the two countries in the Russian capital.

The temporary cessation of hostilities is to start at midday local time (10:00 CET) on Saturday to allow for the exchange of prisoners and the recovery of dead bodies.

Lavrov also said that the two parties will “begin substantive negotiations with the aim of achieving a peaceful settlement as soon as possible.”

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bloody war over Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s which ended in a truce in 1994. Sporadic episodes of violence have since taken place.

The mountainous region lies in Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians backed by Armenia.

Violence between the two former Soviet states erupted again on September 27 with both sides blaming each other for the latest flare-up — the worst in decades.

At least 400 people have since been killed in the fighting and half of the region’s population — about 70,000 — have been displaced.

The International Committee of the Red Cross — which will assist the two sides during the temporary ceasefire — said earlier this week “hundreds of key infrastructure like hospitals and schools” have either been destroyed or damaged by heavy artillery.

Source link

NW Syria clashes kill 22 in highest toll since truce: monitor

Beirut (AFP) – Clashes in northwest Syria killed 22 regime fighters and jihadists Sunday in the highest such death toll since the start of a two-month-old ceasefire there, a monitor said.

A truce since March 6 had largely stemmed fighting in Syria’s last major rebel bastion of Idlib after a months-long regime assault that killed hundreds of civilians and forced almost a million to flee.

But before dawn on Sunday rebels attacked the positions of pro-regime fighters on the western flank of the jihadist-dominated region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The clashes in the Sahl al-Ghab area killed 15 regime fighters as well as seven jihadists including from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hurras al-Deen group, the Britain-based monitor said.

“It’s the highest death toll for fighters since the truce came into force,” said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman, who relies on sources inside Syria.

“There had been intermittent clashes and mutual bombardment between both sides before, but this is the most violent attack yet.”

The Idlib region of some three million people is dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, but other jihadists such as Hurras al-Deen and rebel groups are also present.

The truce brokered by regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey has kept Syrian and Russian warplanes out of the region’s skies, and largely held despite sporadic clashes or rocket fire.

Tens of thousands have returned to their hometowns.

Hundreds of thousands of others remain in crowded displacement camps or in temporary shelters near the Turkish border.

Aid groups have warned that any outbreak of the novel coronavirus there would be devastating.

Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

Source link

EU, foreign ministers call for Libya truce – POLITICO

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas | Filip Singer/Getty Images

Germany, France, Italy and the EU urge all sides to ‘unite their efforts to face the common enemy … the current pandemic.’

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy and the EU’s foreign policy chief issued a joint statement Saturday calling for a humanitarian truce in Libya.

The EU’s Josep Borrell, Germany’s Heiko Maas, France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian and Italy’s Luigi Di Maio urged “all Libyan actors to get inspired by the spirit of the Holy Ramadan and engage in resuming talks for a genuine cease-fire.”

In January, the German government brokered a truce, at least between the various international backers of the two sides in Libya. Despite that, there has been fierce fighting between the U.N.-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and the strongman of the east of the country, Khalifa Haftar.

The three foreign ministers and Borrell asked the parties in Libya to “unite their efforts to face the common enemy … the current pandemic.”

Source link