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Intensifying military offensives by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the historically Armenian land of Nagorno-Karabakh (with the historic name of Artsakh) are raising fears of another Armenian genocide.
Civilians in Stepanakert and elsewhere in Karabakh continue to be targeted, killed and injured as Azerbaijan rejects Armenia’s call for a ceasefire.
Artsakh faces an existential threat: Without an immediate cessation of hostilities, there could soon be ethnic cleansing of Armenians and loss of their historic land.
Of especial concern currently:
- The use of heavy artillery, including Smerch missiles and cluster bombs against civilians, contrary to international law.
- The substantial build-up of Azeri forces and sophisticated weaponry on the borders of Armenia and Artsakh.
- The aggressive involvement of the Turkish Air Force and Turkish weaponry against Armenia and Artsakh.
- The fleeing of civilians from their homes, both in Stepanakert and in villages and towns near the areas of conflict. (Civilian testimony in the last few days).
- Increasing evidence (BBC, Reuters, German and Russian sources) of the recruitment and mobilisation of significant numbers (it is reported, thousands) of foreign jihadist fighters from Syria and Libya transported from Turkey to Azerbaijan to fight against Artsakh.
- The aggressive rhetoric of Turkish President Erdogan urging Azerbaijan to continue the offensive (), and the promise of the Azeri President to continue fighting until Armenia leaves Artsakh. ()
- The legal and historic self-determination of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) continuing to be ignored and dismissed regardless of the fact that is fulfils all qualifications for the right to self-determination granted by the UN Charter to Peoples who are distinct geographically, racially or culturally, and who have the political and economic frameworks in place to achieve it.Resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly cannot supersede the rights granted under the Charter.
We therefore urge the British government:
- To join this call by the United Nations to call upon Azerbaijan for an urgent and IMMEDIATE cessation of hostilities.
- To urge the Turkish government to end its aggressive involvement.
- To suspend all lethal and non-lethal military aid to Turkey, Azerbaijan and the allied jihadist forces in Syria.
- To urge all parties to return to the negotiating table and to support Artsakh’s justified long-standing wish for self-determination.
For further information or queries, please contact
Caroline Cox: firstname.lastname@example.org : (0)20 8205 4608
David Thomas: email@example.com : 01974 251670