Apr 271998
 

Survivors of the Maraghar Massacre

It was truly like a contemporary Golgotha many times over.
Baroness Cox
4/27/1998

The ancient kingdom of Armenia was the first nation to embrace Christianity—in A.D. 301. Modern Armenia, formerly a Soviet republic, declared autonomy in September 1991 and today exists as a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. There you find many of the oldest churches in the world, and a people who have upheld the faith for nearly 1,700 years, often at great cost.

Nowhere has the cost been greater than in the little piece of ancient Armenia called Nagorno-Karabakh, cruelly cut off from the rest of Armenia by Stalin in 1921, and isolated today as a Christian enclave within Islamic Azerbaijan. Only 100 miles north to south, 50 miles east to west, there are mountains, forests, fertile valleys, and an abundance of ancient churches, monasteries, and beautifully carved stone crosses dating from the fourth century. Continue reading »

Apr 031996
 

FACT SHEET: NAGORNO-KARABAGH

ARMENIAN RESEARCH CENTER

The University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dearborn, MI 48128

The Autonomous Region of Mountainous Karabagh (also known in America as Nagorno-Karabagh) recently declared independence from Azerbaijan because of continued persecution, oppression, and human and civil rights violations by the Azeri Turks. It was attached to Azerbaijan as an Autonomous Region by Joseph Stalin in 1921 and has suffered under Azeri rule from that time onward.
Mountainous Karabagh had a pre-war population of approximately 200,000 people, 77% of whom were Christian Armenians. The remaining 23% were mainly Muslim Azeri Turks. Nagorno-Karabagh’s capital is Stepanakert. It has an area of about 1,700 square miles, slightly smaller than the state of Delaware.

  • On December 10, 1991, Nagorno-Karabagh held an independence referendum in which 82% of all voters participated, and 99% voted for independence.
  • On January 6, 1992, the leaders of Nagorno-Karabagh declared independence as the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh (RMK).
  • On January 8, 1992, Artur Mkrtchian was elected President and Oleg Yessaian as Prime Minister of Karabagh by Karabagh’s Parliament. Note that this Presidency is not an independent office such as in the United States.
  • On January 24, 1992, Karabagh’s Parliament elected Georgi Petrosian to the office of Vice President.
  • On April 14, Artur Mkrtchian died in an accidental weapons misfire. Georgi Petrosian became acting President.
  • On May 8, the Karabagh Defense Forces took Shushi, a city in Karabagh overlooking Stepanakert, from which the Azeris had been shelling Stepanakert.
  • On May 18, the Karabagh Defense Forces took Lachin and connected Karabagh to Armenia, thus breaking the Azeri economic blockade on Karabagh (however, Armenia’s situation was not much better since it too was—and still is—under Azeri blockade).
  • On June 12, following the June 7 election of Abulfez Elchibey as President of Azerbaijan, the Azeris launched a massive offensive that seized almost half of Karabagh by September. Beginning in late fall, the Karabagh Defense Forces retook nearly all of these territories and restored the political integrity of Karabagh by late March 1993.
  • On March 27, 1993, the Karabagh Defense Forces, to forestall an Azeri spring offensive, launched attacks at two strategic Azeri cities, Kelbajar and Fizuli. They took Kelbajar on April 3, but were unable to take Fizuli. The capture of Kelbajar gave Karabagh a new connection to Armenia.
  • On June 14, acting President Georgi Petrosian resigned as Armenian President Levon Ter Petrosian travels to Stepanakert to persuade the Presidium of Karabagh’s Parliament to accept a new CSCE peace plan, which it does by a vote of 6 to 5. Garen Baburian became the new acting President.
  • June through August 1993 was a time of confusion in Azerbaijan as Surat Huseinov led a revolt against Elchibey; Haidar Aliyev became the new President of Azerbaijan; and a short-lived Mughan-Talish Republic was declared in Lenkoran, a port city near the Iranian border.
  • July 23 to September 4 1993, Karabagh Defense Forces take Agdam, Fizuli, Jebrail, and Horadiz (although Horadiz keeps changing hands), thus taking the war to the rest of Azerbaijan.
  • From December 22, 1993, to November 1994, the re-formed Azeri army, stiffened by Turkish and MegaOil (renegade Americans) training; Ukrainian, Turkish, and Chinese weaponry; and Afghan mujaheddin, launched new unsuccessful attacks on Karabagh.
  • In May of 1994 a tenuous cease-fire went into effect, which is still holding today.
  • December 28, 1994, The Karabagh Parliament created an independent Presidency such as in the United States and elected Robert Kocharian to fill it the next day.

Historical Background:

Historically Armenian, Nagorno-Karabagh was connected to Armenia in ancient times, a connection that was lost after the division of the Armenian Kingdom in 387 AD. With the rise of Islam in the seventh century, Karabagh fell under Arab rule, where it stayed for 300 years.

In the eleventh century, Karabagh came under the rule of the Bagratid Kings of Georgia, relatives of the Armenian Bagratids, who held it until the Mongol invasion. After 100 years of Mongol rule, Karabagh fell into Turkish hands, where it stayed until the Persians took power in the early 1600s.

In 1603, Shah Abbas the Great of Persia allowed local Armenian rule in Karabagh under five meliks (kings). These five kinglets, later joined—but not supplanted—by a Muslim khanate, survived until the Russian conquest of Karabagh in 1828.

Under Russian rule, a deliberate effort was made to link Karabagh economically with the “Baku Province,” later to be named Azerbaijan. With the withdrawal of Russian power following the Russian democratic revolution in February/March of 1917, Karabagh reemerged as a state, governed by the Assembly of Karabagh Armenians.

The Azerbaijanis, who were trying to organize their own state, contested the Armenians’ right to rule Karabagh, even though it was overwhelmingly Armenian. The Azeris first turned for help to the British occupation force led by General Dunsterville, then to the Ottoman army under Nuri Pasha, and finally to the Russian Bolsheviks. With foreign aid, they won out.

Soviet Period:

At first the Soviets returned Nagorno-Karabagh to Armenia; but after a brief period, Joseph Stalin gave it to Azerbaijan as an “autonomous region,” and altered the boundaries so that Karabagh was cut off from Armenia and was smaller in size.

The next 70-plus years witnessed Azeri persecution of Armenians in an attempt to drive them out and replace them with Azeris, as was done in the Armenian territory of Nakhichevan.

In the Gorbachev era of glasnost, the Armenians brought the persecution of their brethren to the world’s attention through massive peaceful demonstrations in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, in February 1988.

By openly and bravely protesting Soviet ethnic injustice for the first time, the reform movement in Nagorno-Karabagh ignited the independence movements in the Soviet Bloc of Eastern Europe. The “Karabagh Movement” is thus the grandfather of freedom not only in Eastern Europe but in the former USSR itself.

At that time the Armenians wanted to attach Nagorno-Karabagh to Armenia, to ensure its survival, but now they respect the wishes of the Nargorno-Karabagh Armenians to be independent. The independence movement has been met with appalling violence from the Azeris. In February 1988 there was a pogrom (massacre) against Armenians in Sumgait, a suburb of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. In November of 1988, there was a pogrom against Armenians in Kirovabad (now Ganja), in the interior of Azerbaijan. In 1989-90, there are joint Soviet-Azerbaijani forced deportations of Armenians living in towns and villages of Azerbaijan bordering Nagorno- Karabagh. In January of 1990, there was pogrom against Armenians in Baku itself.

When the Azeris began an outright military assault on the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh itself, they took up arms to defend their homes, their land, and their ancient culture. The Armenians are fighting for self-preservation and for the right of self- determination, while the Azeris are fighting to expel an ancient people from their historic homeland and to preserve power over a foreign province.

Today, a tenous cease-fire is in place and has been holding for the past 16 months. However, the Azeris number eight million and have a wealth of oil resources to draw upon in the coming years, and the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh only 160,000 and scant resources. Very little would prevent the Azeris from reopening hostilities and starting a full-scale war once the oil money enters its coffers. A genocide similar to that of 1915 is threatened unless the world takes an interest in and protects the lives of the embattled Armenian minority.

Despite numerous acts of provocation on the part of Azerbaijan—including a six-year-old blockade of Armenia—the Armenian government has studiously avoided being drawn into the war between the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh and the Azeri leaders in Baku. In October 1992, the US Congress enacted legislation banning direct US assistance to the government of Azerbaijan until the blockade is lifted and the aggression ends.

The six-year-old war has taken the lives of more than 16,000 people, and over 1,000,000 have been displaced. Azerbaijan currently has 600,000-1,000,000 refugees, Armenia 400,000 refugees, and Nagorno-Karabagh 60,000 refugees.

Current Issues:

  • The United States and the United Nations should recognize the independence of the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh.
  • Azeri leaders and Turkish leaders should reduce belligerent talk and cease to incite their people to war.
  • Azerbaijan should cease hiring mujaheddin and other foreign mercenaries.
  • Turkey should no longer train and supply Azerbaijani troops and should cease threatening gestures towards Armenia.
  • Azerbaijan and Turkey should cease their illegal blockades of Armenia and Karabagh, which have caused untold suffering and death for the civilian population of Armenia.
  • A permanent truce must be agreed upon and enforced.
  • United Nations troops should be sent in to monitor a self- determination plebiscite.

Current Situation

The current situation is one of “no peace, no war.” Negotiations continue, but with Azerbaijan insisting on the principle of “territorial integrity” (despite the fact that Eritrea was recognized by the world community as independent from Ethiopia after a war), little progress has been made.

April 3, 1996

Feb 101994
 

The European Parliament,

— having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Armenia, especially its resolution of 16 September 1993 on Armenia and Azerbaijan (‘),

A. having regard to the continuing conflict between Armenians and Azeris which threatens to involve other countries, which has driven hundreds of thousands of people, both Armenians and Azeris, from their homes, and which has already led to hundreds of deaths and injuries among the civilian population,

B. whereas the Azerbaijani air force has resumed its bombing of civilians, particularly in the town of Stepanakert,

C. whereas the negotiating proposals made by the CSCE have come to nothing and have in particular been rejected by Azerbaijan,

D. whereas there is an urgent need for international humanitarian aid for the populations affected in Armenia and Azerbaijan and a need for the neighbouring countries to permit international humanitarian organizations free access to the region; whereas, in particular, suitable aid should be provided to the Armenian people, who are facing difficult living conditions this winter, owing, in particular, to the energy crisis,

E. whereas Armenia has, since independence, made genuine efforts to construct a constitutional state based on democratic institutions, the free exercise of fundamental freedoms and human rights and has undertaken economic reforms to create the most favourable conditions for the population; whereas these efforts are threatened by the effects of the conflicts,

F. whereas these conflicts are having the same disastrous effects on Azerbaijan and, to a lesser extent, the other countries of the region,

G. recalling the communique of 17 January 1994 by the Presidency of the European Union on this matter,

 

1. Is concerned at the danger of the internationalization of the conflict, and calls on the governments of the countries of the region and other foreign powers to refrain from providing military aid to the belligerents;

2. Calls on all the neighbours of Armenia and Azerbaijan and, in particular, on Turkey, to allow the free passage of goods to both countries;

3. Endorses the declaration of the Presidency which ‘requests the opposing parties to display self-control and not inflict further suffering on a civilian population already sorely tried by the war’, and ‘reaffirms its support for the principle of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and calls for a peaceful solution to the conflict’;

4. Calls on all parties concerned to comply with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

5. Calls on the Union and its Member States to exert pressure on Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to persuade them to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict;

6. Calls on the European Union and its Member States actively to support the political and economic reform process in Armenia via a more effective commitment in favour of the country under the Tacis programme, and calls on the Union to make a similar effort to support economic recovery in the other countries of the region and, in particular, Azerbaijan, which is more particularly affected by the war;

7. Calls, in this connection, for particular attention to be paid to the energy problem;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Secretary-General of the CSCE.


Source: Resolution B3-0181,0186,0188,0197 and 0204/94 [28.2.94 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 61/171]

File: European Parliament Resolution B3-0181,0186,0188,0197 and 0204/94

Nov 121993
 

Resolution 884 (1993)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 3313th meeting, on 12 November 1993

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 822 (1993) of 30 April 1993, 853 (1993) of 29 July 1993 and 874 (1993) of 14 October 1993,

Reaffirming its full support for the peace process being pursued within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and for the tireless efforts of the CSCE Minsk Group,

Taking note of the letter dated 9 November 1993 from the Chairman-in-Office of the Minsk Conference on Nagorny Karabakh addressed to the President of the Security Council and its enclosures (S/26718, annex),

Expressing its serious concern that a continuation of the conflict in and around the Nagorny Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani Republic, and of the tensions between the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijani Republic, would endanger peace and security in the region,

Noting with alarm the escalation in armed hostilities as consequence of the violations of the cease-fire and excesses in the use of force in response to those violations, in particular the occupation of the Zangelan district and the city of Goradiz in the Azerbaijani Republic,

Reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Azerbaijani Republic and of all other States in the region,

Reaffirming also the inviolability of international borders and the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory,

Expressing grave concern at the latest displacement of a large number of civilians and the humanitarian emergency in the Zangelan district and the city of Goradiz and on Azerbaijan’s southern frontier,

  1. Condemns the recent violations of the cease-fire established between the parties, which resulted in a resumption of hostilities, and particularly condemns the occupation of the Zangelan district and the city of Goradiz, attacks on civilians and bombardments of the territory of the Azerbaijani Republic;
  2. Calls upon the Government of Armenia to use its influence to achieve compliance by the Armenians of the Nagorny Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani Republic with resolutions 822 (1993) , 853 (1993) and 874 (1993) , and to ensure that the forces involved are not provided with the means to extend their military campaign further;
  3. Welcomes the Declaration of 4 November 1993 of the nine members of the CSCE Minsk Group (S/26718) and commends the proposals contained therein for unilateral cease-fire declarations;
  4. Demands from the parties concerned the immediate cessation of armed hostilities and hostile acts, the unilateral withdrawal of occupying forces from the Zangelan district and the city of Goradiz, and the withdrawal of occupying forces from other recently occupied areas of the Azerbaijani Republic in accordance with the Adjusted timetable of urgent steps to implement Security Council resolutions 822 (1993) and 853 (1993) (S/26522, appendix), as amended by the CSCE Minsk Group meeting in Vienna of 2 to 8 November 1993;
  5. Strongly urges the parties concerned to resume promptly and to make effective and permanent the cease-fire established as a result of the direct contacts undertaken with the assistance of the Government of the Russian Federation in support of the CSCE Minsk Group, and to continue to seek a negotiated settlement of the conflict within the context of the CSCE Minsk process and the Adjusted timetable, as amended by the CSCE Minsk Group meeting in Vienna of 2 to 8 November 1993;
  6. Urges again all States in the region to refrain from any hostile acts and from any interference or intervention, which would lead to the widening of the conflict and undermine peace and security in the region;
  7. Requests the Secretary-General and relevant international agencies to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the affected civilian population, including that in the Zangelan district and the city of Goradiz and on Azerbaijan’s southern frontier, and to assist refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in security and dignity;
  8. Reiterates its request that the Secretary-General, the Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE and the Chairman of the CSCE Minsk Conference continue to report to the Council on the progress of the Minsk process and on all aspects of the situation on the ground, in particular on the implementation of its relevant resolutions, and on present and future cooperation between the CSCE and the United Nations in this regard;
  9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Source: Security Council Resolutions 1993

Original Document: UN SC Res. 884 (1993)

Jul 291993
 

Resolution 853 (1993)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 3259th meeting, on 29 July 1993

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolution 822 (1993) of 30 April 1993,

Having considered the report issued on 27 July 1993 by the Chairman of the Mink Group of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) (S/26184),

Expressing its serious concern at the deterioration of relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijani Republic and at the tensions between them,

Welcoming acceptance by the parties concerned at the timetable of urgent steps to implement its resolution 822 (1993) ,

Noting with alarm the escalation in armed hostilities and, in particular, the seizure of the district of Agdam in the Azerbaijani Republic,

Concerned that this situation continues to endanger peace and security in the region,

Expressing once again its grave concern at the displacement of large numbers of civilians in the Azerbaijani Republic and at the serious humanitarian emergency in the region,

Reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Azerbaijani Republic and of all other States in the region,

Reaffirming also the inviolability of international borders and the inadmissability of the use of force for the acquisition of territory,

1. Condemns the seizure of the district of Agdam and of all other recently occupied areas of the Azerbaijani Republic;

2. Further condemns all hostile actions in the region, in particular attacks on civilians and bombardments of inhabited areas;

3. Demands the immediate cessation of all hostilities and the immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces involved from the district of Agdam and all other recently occupied areas of the Azerbaijan Republic;

4. Calls on the parties concerned to reach and maintain durable cease-fire arrangements;

5. Reiterates in the context of paragraphs 3 and 4 above its earlier calls for the restoration of economic, transport and energy links in the region;

6. Endorses the continuing efforts by the Minsk Group of the CSCE to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, including efforts to implement resolution 822 (1993) , and expresses its grave concern at the disruptive effect that the escalation of armed hostilities has had on these efforts;

7. Welcomes the preparations for a CSCE monitor mission with a timetable for its deployment, as well as consideration within the CSCE of the proposal for a CSCE presence in the region;

8. Urges the parties concerned to refrain from any action that will obstruct a peaceful solution to the conflict, and to pursue negotiations within the Minsk Group of the CSCE, as well as through direct contacts between them, towards a final settlement;

9. Urges the Government of the Republic of Armenia to continue to exert its influence to achieve compliance by the Armenians of the Nagorny-Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani Republic with its resolution 822 (1993) and the present resolution, and the acceptance by this party of the proposals of the Minsk Group of the CSCE;

10. Urges States to refrain from the supply of any weapons and munitions which might lead to an intensification of the conflict or the continued occupation of territory;

11. Calls once again for unimpeded access for international humanitarian relief efforts in the region, in particular in all areas affected by the conflict, in order to alleviate the increased suffering of the civilian population and reaffirms that all parties are bound to comply with the principles and rules of international humanitarian law;

12. Requests the Secretary-General and relevant international agencies to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the affected civilian population and to assist displaced persons to return to their homes;

13. Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE as well as the Chairman of the Minsk Group, to continue to report to the Council on the situation;

14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


Source: Security Council Resolutions 1993

Original Document: UN SC Res. 853 (1993)

Apr 301993
 

Resolution 822 (1993)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 3205th meeting, on 30 April 1993

The Security Council,

Recalling the statements of the President of the Security Council of 29 January 1993 (S/25199) and of 6 April 1993 (S/25539) concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General dated 14 April 1993 (S/25600),

Expressing its serious concern at the deterioration of the relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan,

Noting with alarm the escalation in armed hostilities and, in particular, the latest invasion of the Kelbadjar district of the Republic of Azerbaijan by local Armenian forces,

Concerned that this situation endangers peace and security in the region,

Expressing grave concern at the displacement of a large number of civilians and the humanitarian emergency in the region, in particular in the Kelbadjar district,

Reaffirming the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States in the region,

Reaffirming also the inviolability of international borders and the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory,

Expressing its support for the peace process being pursued within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and deeply concerned at the distruptive effect that the escalation in armed hostilities can have on that process,

1. Demands the immediate cessation of all hostilities and hostile acts with a view to establishing a durable cease-fire, as well as immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kelbadjar district and other recently occupied areas of Azerbaijan;

2. Urges the parties concerned immediately to resume negotiations for the resolution of the conflict within the framework of the peace process of the Minsk Group of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and refrain from any action that will obstruct a peaceful solution of the problem;

3. Calls for unimpeded access for international humanitarian relief efforts in the region, in particular in all areas affected by the conflict in order to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population and reaffirms that all parties are bound to comply with the principles and rules of international humanitarian law;

4. Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Chairman-in-Office of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as the Chairman of the Minsk Group of the Conference to assess the situation in the region, in particular in the Kelbadjar district of Azerbaijan, and to submit a further report to the Council;

5. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


Source: Security Council Resolutions 1993

Original Document: UN SC Res. 822 (1993)

Apr 011993
 

Ethnic Cleansing in Progress: War in Nagorno Karabakh

Institute for Religious Minorities in Islamic World (April 1993)
By Caroline COX and John EIBNER

Contents
Preface
Introduction
Basic Facts
A Conflict of Civilizations
The Genocide
The Pincers of Pan-Turkism
Soviet Rule
The Karabakh Question Revived
Operation Ring
The Post-Soviet Conflict
The Characteristics of the People of Nagorno Karabakh
The Prognosis: Continuing Bloodshed
Conclusions
Recommendations


Available online at: Sumgait.info

Jan 211993
 

The European Parliament,

  1. aware of the tragic situation of the 300 000 Armenian refugees who have fled the pogroms in Azerbaijan,
  2. whereas, four years after the earthquake which struck Armenia, living conditions in the disaster areas are perilous,
  3. whereas the CSCE is endeavouring to establish peace by creating the basis for a settlement negotiated between the Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh authorities,
  4. whereas the economic blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and the resulting energy crisis are designed to draw Armenia into a direct armed conflict,
  1. Gives its full backing to the CSCE peace process and calls for an immediate ceasefire between the parties to the conflict;
  2. Takes the view that the relentless blockade carried out by Azerbaijan constitutes a violation of international law and insists that the Azerbaijani Government lift it forthwith;
  3. Calls on the Commission to release appropriations for Armenia in order to support the democratization process (Tacis programme) and meet the population’s most pressing tangible needs (Echo programme);
  4. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, European Political Cooperation, the CSCE Secretary-General and the Governments of Armenia and of Azerbaijan.

Source: Resolution B3-0049/93 [15.2.93 Official Journal of the European Communities No C42/165]

File: European Parliament Resolution B3-0049/93

Oct 241992
 

Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act (Public Law 102-511)
Washington DC, 24 October 1992
Sec. 907. RESTRICTION ON ASSISTANCE TO AZERBAIJAN.

(a) RESTRICTIONS – United States assistance under this or any other Act (other than assistance under title V of this Act) may not be provided to the Government of Azerbaijan until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

(b) WAIVER- The restriction on assistance in subsection (a) shall not apply if the President determines, and so certifies to Congress, that the application of the restriction would not be in the national interests of the United States.


Source: THOMAS (Library of Congress)