STATEMENT: Azerbaijani forces cross line of contact with Artsakh after cutting off gas to Armenians – Press releases – News |

SYDNEY: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) condemns in the strongest terms the serious actions of the authoritarian military dictatorship of Azerbaijan, which this week violated the line of contact with the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh ), violating the November 2020 ceasefire agreement between Baku and Yerevan brokered by Russia.

On Friday March 25, these attacks culminated with four Armenian soldiers killed and 14 others injured by Azerbaijani fire, while citizens of Artsakh froze in sub-zero temperatures due to Baku cutting off their access to gas. for the second time in matter of weeks.

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Azerbaijan has exploited it as a cover to indiscriminately bomb several civilian villages in the occupied Armenian territories of Nagorno-Karabakh (Republic of Artsakh). This includes the villages of Nor Shen and Khramort, after which Azerbaijani military personnel used loudspeakers to order the native Armenian population to leave their homeland or be forcibly expelled.

Along with this campaign of ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide, the Aliyev regime deliberately severed a pipeline near occupied Shushi on the 8th, which carries gas from Armenia to Artsakh. Despite the mediation of Russian peacekeepers forcing the delayed repair of the line by Azerbaijan, the gas supply was cut off again on Tuesday. Experts say it is clear that the Azerbaijani “reparations” included the installation of valves to control the entry of gas into the Republic of Artsakh.

This incident represents another example of the serious human rights violations inflicted on more than 100,000 Armenian men, women and children in Artsakh, who were left without heating in negative conditions. Several international bodies, including the European Union, have expressed concern over this and called on Azerbaijan to urgently restore gas flows to residents of Artsakh.

In addition, several non-governmental organizations such as liberty house also criticized Azerbaijan’s disruption of gas supplies to Artsakh, noting the potential humanitarian crisis unfolding during weeks of freezing temperatures in the region.

However, it is Azerbaijan’s latest act of aggression and violation of international law that is of most concern, as its armed forces have embarked on a premeditated provocation, crossing the line of contact and occupying the Armenian village of Parukh and its surroundings, depopulating the peaceful Armenian villagers. As a safety measure, the women and children of the nearby village of Khramort were evacuated, and now the first Armenian deaths and injuries have been reported.

In response, Artsakh Foreign Minister David Babayan said “Azerbaijan is trying to terrorize the population” through the processes of ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide learned from their Ottoman ancestors responsible for mass deportation. in 1915 and the execution of 1.5 million men, women and children during the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides.

Azerbaijan’s emboldened actions demonstrate once again that oil dictator Aliyev is taking advantage of global attention, especially Russia, on the Ukraine crisis to provoke, threaten and attack the peaceful people of Artsakh. As many Armenians remember, the 2020 Artsakh War was launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic during which the world’s attention was preoccupied.

Over the past month, Azerbaijan has repeated its tactics that led to the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020 by carrying out provocations and threats against the peaceful indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh at a time when the attention of the international community is captured elsewhere.

Aliyev’s continued policy of ethnic and religious Armenophobic hatred must be condemned by the Australian government, because without action from the international community, the Armenian population of Artsakh faces the very real and growing possibility of genocide on their lands. historical.

We call on the international community and the Russian peacekeeping forces endorsed by the OSCE Minsk Group, which were deployed after the 2020 ceasefire agreement, to ensure that the military forces Azerbaijani forces immediately return to their original ceasefire positions and withdraw from the village of Parukh and the surrounding area. areas.

Anything less will only reward and encourage further military aggression and attempted ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan.

– Armenian National Committee of Australia (March 26, 2022)

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