The article, “Nagorno-Karabakh Cut Off: The Desperate Situation of its People,” highlights the dire circumstances faced by the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave under siege by Azerbaijan. With alleged blockades preventing crucial supplies from reaching the region, concerns have arisen regarding the well-being of the 100,000 inhabitants. The scarcity of essential items such as food, toiletries, baby formula, and clothing has compounded the already precarious situation. Azerbaijan’s recent offensive and tightening control over the Lachin Corridor, the only link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, have exacerbated the crisis. Humanitarian organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have sounded the alarm, warning of an impending catastrophe. While Azerbaijan claims to have a solution, their proposal of using an alternative route via Aghdam is viewed with skepticism by Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership, who see it as a ploy to dismantle their independence. The article further delves into the escalating human cost, pressure on Azerbaijan to relent, and international responses to the blockade.
The Desperate Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
The ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has reached a desperate situation, with dire consequences for the people living in the region. The blockade and humanitarian crisis created by Azerbaijan has led to a shortage of essential supplies and a growing fear for the fate of the people.
Blockade and Humanitarian Crisis
Azerbaijan’s decision to block all supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh has had severe consequences for the 100,000 people living in the region. A line of aid trucks filled with food and other supplies from the Armenian government has been stuck at an army checkpoint for a month, as Azerbaijan refuses to let it pass. This blockade has created a humanitarian crisis, with the International Committee of the Red Cross warning that they are unable to get food and fuel into the region.
Azerbaijan’s Proposed Solution
Azerbaijan argues that there is a solution to the blockade, although it may not be one that is acceptable for the Karabakh Armenians. They propose redirecting aid via the Aghdam road, which historically links Karabakh to mainland Azerbaijan. However, this solution is not favored by the Karabakh Armenians, as it would require long detours and would undermine their goal of maintaining some semblance of independence.
The Humanitarian Impact
The humanitarian impact of the blockade is devastating. The shortage of essential supplies has resulted in malnutrition, leading to an increase in miscarriages among pregnant women. Medical care is also limited, and a shortage of fuel has halted agricultural work in the region. Furthermore, Azerbaijani forces have fired on farmers in their fields, making it impossible for them to sow crops and harvest hay for their animals.
Calls for International Intervention
The leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh has called for international intervention to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan and to allow aid into the region. The UN Security Council has acknowledged the ongoing blockade and has also called for aid to be allowed in. However, finding a solution to the crisis has proven difficult due to the deep divisions between the two sides.
Azerbaijan denies the existence of a blockade and argues that the Lachin road, which is the only link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, is open. However, they refuse to explain why international organizations are unable to use it. Azerbaijan proposes redirecting aid via the Aghdam road as a more cost-effective and convenient solution. They argue that the resistance from the Karabakh Armenians is due to their desire to maintain their separatist and illegal puppet regime.
Doubts about Azerbaijan’s Intentions
There are doubts about Azerbaijan’s long-term intentions. Some experts argue that Azerbaijan has not presented a positive vision for the future of Karabakh Armenians and has not addressed the troubled relationship between the Azerbaijani state and the Karabakh Armenian population. The lack of a clear plan or vision raises concerns about their true intentions and whether they genuinely seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Growing Pressure on Azerbaijan
There is mounting pressure on Azerbaijan to ease the blockade and find a resolution to the crisis. International figures, including a former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, have called the situation an ongoing genocide and have urged Azerbaijan to relent. However, Azerbaijan continues to defend its actions and has hired a London lawyer to reject claims of ethnic cleansing.
Russia’s Role in the Region
Russia’s role in guaranteeing safe passage in and out of the region, as promised under the 2020 ceasefire agreement, has come under scrutiny. The Karabakh Armenians are looking to the West for security assurances, as they no longer believe that Russia has the leverage or interest to protect them. Russia’s shifting priorities and decreased interest in the region have left a void that needs to be filled by other international actors.
The Long-Term Concerns
The ongoing crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh raises long-term concerns about the region’s future. Questions about Azerbaijan’s long-term plans and their lack of a positive vision for the Karabakh Armenians create uncertainty. Without a transformative approach to the troubled relationship between Azerbaijan and the Karabakh Armenian population, it will be challenging to achieve a lasting and peaceful resolution.
In conclusion, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is desperate, with a blockade and humanitarian crisis threatening the lives of the people living in the region. Azerbaijan’s proposed solution and rebuttal have faced doubts and opposition, leading to growing pressure on Azerbaijan and calls for international intervention. The long-term concerns about Azerbaijan’s intentions and the need for a positive vision and transformation add complexity to the already challenging situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.