Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh: a trace still distant

Nagorno-Karabakh territory Nagorno-Karabakh territory © Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock

11 October 2020

A few hours after the ceasefire came into force, Armenia and Azerbaijan resumed fighting in Nagorno Karabakh

On October 10 Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Moscow and - thanks to Russian mediation – established the entry into force of a ceasefire aiming at respecting Humanitarian Law, encouraging the exchange of the prisoners of war and burying their dead.

However, the fragile truce did not hold up and, less than 24 hours later, the parties in conflict accused each other of violating the ceasefire: the Baku Government accused Armenia for a night bombing of the city of Ganja; Yerevan rejected these accusations and blamed Azerbaijan for bombing Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno Karabakh. According to the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister’s words, the Armenian bombing, by targeting an apartment building, caused the death of nine innocent civilians and 33 injured, including children. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, claims that the enemy army was active within the disputed state and bombed Azerbaijani territory. 

Therefore, it is a war not only fought with drones, sensors and long-range weapons on the battlefield, but also with the weapons of words; it is a conflict that has its roots in ethnic rivalry and the Armenian desire for recognition. Indeed, although Nagorno Karabakh is formally recognized by the International Community as part of Azerbaijan, it is mostly inhabited by the Armenian people, who claim their autonomy from Baku and aspire to establish itself as an independent state by appealing to the principle of self-determination of the peoples. This desire dragged Nagorno Karabakh into an atrocious war, the most violent of the region in recent decades and will cause too many civilian casualties. 

To put an end to such a conflict, it is necessary that the two main external actors - Turkey and Russia - give up fighting their proxy war aimed at increasing their influence and convince the parties to sit at the negotiating table in order to reach a durable peaceful solution.


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Author: Antonella Palmiotti

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