Azerbaijan is keen to resettle territories regained from Armenian control. Landmines are its largest headache. To woo foreign support, Baku should be more welcoming of outside expertise. Along with Yerevan, it should also unlink demining from the conflict and consider joining the landmine ban treaty.
UN Security Council (UNSC) held emergency session on humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK); violence flared along Azerbaijan-Armenia border.
UNSC failed to pass resolution on NK during emergency session. Deteriorating humanitarian situation in NK due to Lachin blockade (see Nagorno-Karabakh) sharpened tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, with latter 11 Aug formally requesting emergency UNSC session to address situation. During 16 Aug session, UNSC members 16 Aug highlighted worsening humanitarian situation and called for resumption of aid deliveries – halted in July – but did not pass resolution on matter. Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan 17 Aug said UNSC “reaffirmed the existence of a humanitarian crisis”, which therefore contradicted Azerbaijan’s denial of blockade; Azerbaijan same day dismissed Armenia’s failed “attempt to instrumentalise” UNSC.
Violence flared at Azerbaijan-Armenia border. Azerbaijan early Aug claimed its forces had intercepted two Armenian reconnaissance drones heading toward Lachin region. Sides throughout month traded blame for shootings along border between Azerbaijan’s Kelbajar district and Armenia’s Gegharkunik region. Notably, Armenia 15 Aug claimed Azerbaijan fired at individuals from EU civilian observation mission, which EU same day c0nfirmed. Armenia 14 Aug reported one soldier injured, 21 Aug reported one serviceman “fatally wounded”; Azerbaijan 16 Aug said it detained Armenian soldier and 22 Aug reported one of its soldiers injured.
Authorities brought fresh charges against detained opposition politician. News agency Turan 25 Aug reported that authorities had brought new charge – religious extremism – against prominent opposition politician Qubad İbadoğlu, arrested late July for alleged involvement in “preparation, acquisition or sale of counterfeit money or securities by an organised group”.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson speak with Olesya Vartanyan and Zaur Shiriyev, Crisis Group’s South Caucasus experts, about where things stand between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the deadly border clashes in September and whether a peace agreement might be within reach.
A fragile truce concluded on 14 September halted fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia that left hundreds of soldiers dead. In this Q&A, Crisis Group explains what occurred and what needs to happen now to restart the peace process between the two foes.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan about the state of the UN as world leaders meet for General Assembly week, and also catches up with Europe and Central Asia Program Director Olga Oliker about the latest from Ukraine and violence on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Crisis Group’s South Caucasus expert Olesya Vartanyan about the conflict in and over Nagorno-Karabakh, a year on from a Russian-brokered ceasefire that put an end to renewed large-scale fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The 2020 war over Nagorno-Karabakh left many issues unresolved and the front lines volatile. The parties should establish a formal communication channel to address urgent post-war problems, Russian peacekeepers need a clearer mandate and aid agencies must be granted access to the conflict zone.
Russian mediation succeeded in ending the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh but left much unresolved, chiefly the region’s future status. If the cessation of hostilities is to become a sustainable peace, the parties should start by cooperating on humanitarian relief and trade before tackling larger questions.
Fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh is decimating towns and cities, displacing tens of thousands and killing scores. Combatants must cease attacks on populated areas and let humanitarian aid through. International actors, notably the UN and OSCE, should send monitors and push harder for a ceasefire.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.