DatinSince the early 1990s, Armenia’s armed aggression against Azerbaijan has resulted in the occupation of nearly a fifth of Azerbaijani territory. The occupation was accompanied by massive ethnic cleansing of around 1 million Azerbaijanis from these territories and the commission of other serious crimes. – writes writes Mezahir Efendiyev, member of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan
On November 10, all media wrote: “After six weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia, a ceasefire agreement was signed between the two warring parties. Azerbaijan has won a huge victory ”.
However, the real victory was to end 30 years of occupation of Armenia and liberate Azerbaijani territory. The Republic of Azerbaijan has finally steadily and inexorably liberated its homeland from foreign occupation and restored its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The ceasefire agreement came shortly after the liberation of Shusha, the second historic city in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, by the Azerbaijani armed forces, and the agreement entered into force at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. local. There was no other way out for Armenia than to accept defeat, as Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian pointed out. The Armenian government therefore admitted defeat and officially ended the conflict.
In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, condemning the use of force against Azerbaijan and the occupation of its territories and reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders. In these resolutions, the Security Council reaffirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an inalienable part of Azerbaijan and called for the immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Other international organizations have taken a similar position, but for many years Armenia ignored this position of the international community.
Instead, in 2019, Armenia’s defense minister promulgated an aggressive new military doctrine “a new war for new territories”.
In addition, the Minsk Group, whose activities became known as the Minsk Process, spearheaded the OSCE’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It was co-chaired by France, the Russian Federation and the United States. However, the OSCE peace effort in Nagorno-Karabakh was outdated and unnecessary. The road to real reconciliation and reconstruction is dead. For 30 years, the Minsk group did not produce results; the recent victory of the Azerbaijani military forces – putting an end to the Armenian occupation – leaves it nothing more to do.
This certainly allows us to claim victory as another historical significance of Azerbaijan, by achieving Resolution 4 on the Karabakh conflict on our own. That is, the occupation of Azerbaijani lands for 30 years and the expectation of justice ended on the first day of December 2020.
The peace deal, which was declared by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has historical significance and amounts to the surrender of Armenia.
During 44 days of active military operations, the Armenian armed forces committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, such as the deliberate targeting of densely populated residential areas, including those far from the conflict zone with ballistic missiles, l use of prohibited weapons, such as cluster munitions and phosphorus bombs, which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. As a result of direct and indiscriminate attacks by the Armenian armed forces between September 27 and November 9, 2020, 101 Azerbaijani civilians, including 12 children, were killed and 423 civilians were injured. Serious damage has been inflicted on civilian infrastructure and on public and private property.
The 27 years of illegal occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan by the Armenians also resulted in the destruction of religious objects, museums, theaters, churches, schools, ancient caves and even private houses that we have preserved for centuries. Cities like Agdam, Gubadli, Fizuli, Zangelan, Jabrail have been turned into Hiroshima style ruins. Farmland has been turned into minefields now. Massive looting of forests by Armenians is also taking place, resulting in “eco-terrorism”. Azerbaijani historical caves and excavation sites have been destroyed.
After all, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s dirty claim, “Artsakh is Armenia, and that’s it” ultimately turned out to be a dirty lie. After the victory, not only the Azerbaijani army, but the whole world saw how the rich and prosperous regions of Karabakh, territory claimed by Armenia, were destroyed by Armenia. Together, representatives of the Azerbaijani government, the international press and diplomats from more than 40 embassies located in Baku have revealed evidence of this horrific “war crime”.
The Armenian occupation was not only in the territory of Karabakh, but in all the neighboring regions of Azerbaijan, in which the environment and the population suffered for years. So after the liberation of Suqovuşan from the Azerbaijani army on October 3, 2020, the Terter River, which had been without water for almost 30 years, began to flow again, bringing the region to life.
Despite Azerbaijan’s best efforts to strengthen peace and stability in the South Caucasus in order to establish a new format of regional cooperation beneficial to all countries in the region, Armenia has not fulfilled its obligations arising from international humanitarian law and the trilateral declaration.
Of particular concern is Armenia’s refusal to submit maps of mined areas (forms) in recently liberated territories to the Azerbaijani side, as stipulated in customary international humanitarian law. As such, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) highlights the evidence that mine action enables post-conflict reconstruction, peacekeeping and sustainable development, while emphasizing that Recent trends in conflict and dwindling resources present new challenges, including limited data and the lack of economic and public health resources needed to respond.
Expect this denial, Azerbaijan started mining research, digitization and demining in the region after liberation. After the clean-up efforts that will take about two and a half years, the region will be open for resettlement. Terter, which has been declared a “military zone” until May 2021, will also obtain “civilian” status after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s expedition to the region. Most countries, including Turkey and international organizations, are also contributing and playing an active role in the region’s resettlement efforts.
During the last visit of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, he mentioned: “One third of EU Member States consider Azerbaijan to be a strategic partner. I think this is a very great achievement for our government. Thus, it shows the willingness of EU member states to resolve most of the issues still on the table. It was also a promise that the EU will play a very important role for broad regional cooperation.
Today Azerbaijan is rebuilding Karabakh. A period of restoration is now taking place. Large-scale construction work is to be carried out. Of course, Azerbaijani enterprises and guest enterprises from friendly countries actively participate in this work. The restoration is as innovative as possible with solar panels, power plants and wind turbines that will be installed as part of a smart city project. Hospitals, schools and hotels will be built in addition to the renovation of a ruined main road.
For Azerbaijan, the other most important gain is the liberation of Shusha, known as the pearl and the cultural center of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Thus, immediately after the victory, President Aliyev presented it as the “cultural capital” of the whole region. He was “massacred” and illegally “captured” by Armenia on May 8, 1992.
During all these “painful” years, it has been a “symbol” of “human resistance”, “purity”, “dignity”, “cultural diversity” and “peaceful struggle”.
Azerbaijan’s post-war plans attach particular importance to the restoration of destroyed and desecrated cultural and religious monuments under Armenian control. Azerbaijan was outraged by the images of historic mosques in the Karabakh region which had been turned into pigsties over the past three decades.
There is also popular disillusionment with international mediators from France, the United States and Russia who have previously carried out fact-finding missions in these regions but have never raised the issue of the situation of these regions. religious monuments.
However, as a multi-faith country, Azerbaijan plans to restore not only Muslim monuments but also those belonging to Christianity and other religions in the liberated territories.
UNESCO and other international organizations are invited by Azerbaijan both to assess the material damage inflicted by Armenia to the recently liberated territories and to participate in the restoration of cultural heritage. Unfortunately, however, the invitations failed and, as the President mentioned, we waited for UNESCO for 30 years. This comes against the backdrop of disinformation campaigns claiming that Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh would endanger the region’s Christian heritage.
After all the work done, he hopes that its natural beauty, museums, castles, roads, resorts, community centers, libraries, learning, science and art centers will not only be restored. in Shusha, but all over Karabakh. Cities will again be in the hearts of people and tourists in the days to come as the culture is eternal and the conspiracy, conflicts and contradictions are always short-lived. These cities will once again open their arms to all visitors and become centers of culture and multiculturalism.
After so many years, Vagif Poetry Days and Khari Bulbul Music Festival are held in the town of Shusha, the voices of music in the Karabakh mountains have proven the importance of art to the whole world. , culture and peace for our homeland.
Today a year has passed on “44 days of victory”. Considering the most recent developments in the region, it is obvious that Azerbaijan is the winner, and this victory has created the new realities. Armenia will now have to accept the new realities on the ground, which reflect Azerbaijan’s legal and legitimate demands. Thus, the only way to maintain peace and security is to normalize and bring together opportunities for cooperation on the ground.
Author Mezahir Efendiyev is a Member of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan