Urgent humanitarian situation following the blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)
PARIS, January 30, 2023 – How long can 120,000 people go without gas, electricity, food and medicine in sub-zero temperatures? Winters are harsh in the Caucasus. This does not prevent Azerbaijan from continuing its illegal blockade of the Latchine corridor, the only road linking Armenia to Artsakh. This humanitarian disaster, which began on December 12, has now been going on for 50 days in the shadow of the war in Ukraine, which is rightly attracting international attention.
Like Ukraine, Armenia is a democracy invaded by a dictatorial and expansionist regime. Like the Ukrainian people, the Armenian people are fighting for their freedom and against the tyranny of a state that wants to simply wipe them off the map.
By starving its 120,000 inhabitants (including 30,000 children deprived of education because of the lack of heating in schools) and blocking their only road to survival, Azerbaijan wishes this time to put an end to the thousand-year-old presence of the Armenians on their historic lands. Artsakh, a region populated by Armenians given to Azerbaijan by Stalin in 1921, has been the victim of ethnic cleansing for over a century.
In order to understand this genocidal logic, let us briefly recall the main pogroms committed by Azerbaijan against the Armenian population: the massacre of Shushi (20,000 Armenians killed from 22 to 26 March 1920), Sumgait (27 February to 1 March 1988), Baku (12 to 19 January 1990), Maragha (10 April 1992). Let us also recall the numerous war crimes committed by Azerbaijan since 2020: beheadings, mutilations and rapes of female soldiers, execution of unarmed soldiers, detention and torture of prisoners of war, use of prohibited weapons, etc. This blockade is only the latest manifestation of a series of barbaric acts intended to eliminate any Armenian presence in Artsakh.
Having emerged victorious from the 2020 war, Azerbaijan, having benefited greatly from the help of Erdogan’s Turkey and jihadist mercenaries from Syria, is capitalizing on its military successes to obtain more and more Armenian territory, starting with Artsakh and then aiming at southern Armenia (Syunik). Bypassing the provisions of the treaty of November 9, 2020, Aliyev’s dictatorship has been occupying since September 13, 2022 nearly 150 km2 of sovereign Armenian territory, internationally recognized.
Only a large-scale mobilization could reverse the situation in the face of the power of a hydrocarbon-rich Azerbaijan, which has signed new contracts with the European Union to transport its gas (partially purchased from Russia!), its oil and its electricity. In this respect, France, having already convinced its European partners of the necessity of a new observation mission in Armenia, is also trying to act to unblock this disastrous humanitarian situation.
The Armenian people demand all the attention of the media and the international community to put an end to this blockade which constitutes an act of war in its own right.