31 Jul,2023 | Announcements
Safe YOU Armenia
Yerevan, 31 July 2023
Since December 12th 2022, the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), a breakaway disputed region in South Caucasus, has been under a blockade manufactured by the Azerbaijani government, leading to shortages of food and medical supplies, as well as gas and electrical outages. Following a pseudo protest led by ‘eco-activists,’ on April 23, 2023, Azerbaijan installed a checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor, the only passage that leads from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, and has blocked almost all incoming and outgoing travel, trapping the population into a humanitarian crisis.
This is in direct violation of the November 9, 2020 Trilateral Statement, as well as the legally binding ruling of the International Court of Justice as of 22nd February, 2023, which ordered the following: “Azerbaijan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions."
Despite multiple statements and calls from the international community, Azerbaijan continues carrying out its systematic attempt to starve out and ethnically cleanse the indigenous Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh. In the last month, the number of early miscarriages for women has nearly tripled due to the lack of proper access to medical care, malnutrition, and increased stress. Humanitarian crises always impact the most vulnerable populations the hardest. In the case of the Nagorno-Karabakh blockade, everyone is suffering but women and children are experiencing compounding hardships.
After 7 months, the crisis is now reaching a breaking point. On June 15, Azerbaijan took the blockade one step further and banned any access to Nagorno-Karabakh, including all forms of humanitarian aid.
The ICRC put out a statement on the 25th of July that “Despite persistent efforts, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is not currently able to bring humanitarian assistance to the civilian population through the Lachin corridor or through any other routes, including Aghdam.”
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, also put out a statement on the 26th of July calling on “Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee safety and freedom of movement along the Lachin corridor imminently and not to permit the crisis to escalate further,” and that “medical supplies and essential goods are in short supply or have already run out, with dire consequences for the local population.”
Most recently, on the 26th of July, a shipment of 360 tons of humanitarian aid en route to Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia was again blocked by Azerbaijani authorities.
We urge our international partners to demand the opening of this corridor, and support the initiation of a fact-finding mission to the Nagorno-Karabakh region to conduct a rapid response needs assessment and take measures to address the humanitarian crisis. We hope our partners will join us in condemning the Azerbaijani Government for this attempted ethnic cleansing, and make it clear that they stand for the peaceful resolution of the conflict without use of force.
We are bringing this to your attention not as a political issue, but as one of fundamental human rights. If you, as our partners, stand for the promotion of these rights, take action and advocate for the protection of the lives and dignity of 120,000 indigenous Armenians who are just trying to live in peace.