Tensions flare up in Nagorno-Karabakh over street blockades in Azerbaijan

Rozan Hovhannisyan fears she should kick off the brand new 12 months with out her household within the breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh attributable to a blockade by arch-enemy Azerbaijan.

The temper within the separatist Armenian-inhabited area was nothing however celebratory.

The area of about 120,000 individuals suffers from meals, drugs and gasoline shortages, and Armenian authorities have accused Azerbaijan of orchestrating a full-blown humanitarian disaster in Karabakh within the newest escalation in decades-old tensions between the 2 former Soviet nations.

Since mid-December, Azerbaijanis have been blocking a street to protest what they declare is against the law mining inflicting environmental injury in Karabakh.

Baku claims the protests are spontaneous however Yerevan accuses Azerbaijan of organizing the demonstrations with a purpose to get Armenians to surrender the disputed territories.

“My entire household is in Stepanakert,” Hovannisian stated, referring to the primary metropolis in Karabakh. How can I eat if my family members go to mattress hungry?

“Azerbaijan is taking part in with the lives of atypical individuals,” she added.

Earlier this month, the 39-year-old went to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, on a enterprise journey, however is now unable to return house.

Ashot Grigoryan, a resident of Stepanakert, described the state of affairs as “very critical”.

“I went to a store, everybody will get half a kilo of sugar,” the 62-year-old informed AFP. “The cabinets are virtually empty, and it is good that there’s nonetheless bread.”

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought two wars over Karabakh. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, separatist Armenians in Karabakh separated from Azerbaijan. The following battle claimed the lives of some 30,000 individuals.

One other outbreak of violence in 2020 killed greater than 6,500 individuals and resulted in a Russian-brokered truce that noticed Yerevan cede territory it had managed for many years.

Now the Armenians are accusing the Azerbaijani authorities of waging a struggle of a distinct form and searching for to push the Armenians to go away Karabakh eternally.

“We perceive that the struggle just isn’t over but,” Grigoryan stated.

How can we dwell collectively?

The US and France urged Azerbaijan to “permit freedom of motion alongside the Lachin hall.”

Since December 12, Azerbaijani activists have been blocking the Lachin hall, Armenia’s solely land hyperlink, in protest of what they declare is against the law mining.

Dozens of Azerbaijani activists have arrange tents a number of kilometers from Stepanakert.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has accused Russian peacekeepers deployed alongside the Lachin Hall of failing to forestall the “unlawful blockade”.

On a go to to the positioning on Monday, an AFP reporter noticed activists holding indicators studying “Cease environmental crimes”.

Activists denied blocking the street.

“Our solely demand is to cease the unlawful use of our pure sources,” activist Jamila Mamedova informed AFP.

She stated the activists allowed the motion of humanitarian assist, however admitted that there had been no civilian motion to or from Armenia because the begin of the protests.

One other Azerbaijani activist, Salam Suleymanov, denounced the stories of the Karabakh siege as “false”.

He claimed that “civilians, medical transport and humanitarian items can transfer freely right here”.

AFP witnessed the unimpeded motion of Russian army transport alongside the Lachin hall. The reporter additionally noticed that the street was closed close to a Russian checkpoint, about 15 kilometers from Stepanakert.

The blockade prompted humanitarian teams to convey items into the enclave.

Zara Amatuni, spokeswoman for the Crimson Cross workplace in Armenia, informed AFP on Monday that the group delivered 10 tons of assist offered by the Yerevan authorities.

Stepanakert residents say they don’t perceive how they’ll proceed to dwell like this.

“A lot of my buddies and kinfolk died, and we in Karabakh do not know tips on how to dwell with the Azerbaijanis,” stated Hovannisyan.

“It is inconceivable.”


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