Representative image

Nagorno-Karabakh fighting dies down after Russia brokers ceasefire

Sep 21, 2023

Moscow [Russia], September 21:A ceasefire has been agreed in the disputed South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh about a day after the start of an Azerbaijani military operation there, Armenian and Azerbaijani media reported on Wednesday.
The authorities of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh that governs Nagorno-Karabakh have accepted a proposal to this effect from the Russian side, the Armenian news agency Armenpress and others reported on Wednesday. Azerbaijan's state news agency Azertac cited the Defence Ministry in Baku confirming the news.
The ceasefire started at 1pm (0900 GMT), Azertac and Russia's Interfax news agency reported. The Armenian fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh will be given the opportunity to leave their positions and surrender, Azertac reported.
If all Karabakh Armenian fighters were to surrender, Baku would have achieved its goal.
The Defence Ministry in Russia, traditionally Armenia's protective power and which has been mediating in the conflict, said that its own soldiers would remain in the region and continue to provide humanitarian aid.
Although Nagorno-Karabakh lies in Azerbaijani territory, the majority of its population is Armenian.
"In the current situation, the measures taken by the international community to end the war and resolve the situation are insufficient," Armenpress quoted a Republic of Artsakh statement as saying. "Taking this into account, the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh accept the proposal of the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent regarding a ceasefire." It was also agreed that remaining units of the Armenian army would be withdrawn from Nagorno-Karabakh and that Karabakh fighters would surrender their weapons, Interfax reported. Whether this will actually be implemented was initially unclear.
The presidential administration in Azerbaijan meanwhile said that after the surrender of the Armenians, "issues of reintegration" of Nagorno-Karabakh should be discussed.
According to GeghamStepanyan, the rights ombudsman for the local administration, more than two dozen people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured, including civilians, since hostilities broke out again.
According to Armenian estimates, 32 people have died in the latest hostilities and more than 200 have been injured.
The authorities of the region later agreed to participate in talks in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh, Armenpress reported. The fighting has died down in the region following the ceasefire deal, according to Armenian Prime Minister NikolPashinyan.
"The latest information I have received from Nagorno-Karabakh is that the intensity of fighting has greatly decreased," Pashinyan said on Wednesday in a statement.
"We hope that the military escalation will not continue," he said. According to Pashinyan, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of Armenians living in the region in the face of Azerbaijani army advances.
He called on the Russian peacekeeping soldiers that are stationed in the region to ensure their safety.
On Tuesday morning, authoritarian Azerbaijan launched a broad military operation to take control of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The two neighbouring former Soviet republics have been fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades.
The ceasefire after the last war in 2020, in which Azerbaijan - highly armed with gas and oil revenues - seized large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, has been broken again and again.
Source: Qatar Tribune