14 Killed in Renewed Armenia-Azerbaijan Clash

  • Both sides used ammunition, mortars, and tanks in the conflict.
  • Armenia condemned Azerbaijan’s provocative actions, while Azerbaijan stated that the country had responded appropriately to the provocative actions of Armenia.
  • The two sides fought after the Soviet breakup for control of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanged fire on the northern border on July 12 and 13 and used heavy weapons. At present, 14 people have been killed and 10 are injured. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement on the evening of the 13th and expressed deep concern about the conflict.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh (formerly named Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority established on the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, representatives of the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group on the region’s disputed status.

Both sides used ammunition, mortars, and tanks in the conflict. Armenia condemned Azerbaijan’s provocative actions, while Azerbaijan stated that the country had responded appropriately to the provocative actions of Armenia.

Guterres urged all parties to stop fighting immediately, take prompt measures to ease the situation, and avoid any provocative remarks. Guterres also took note of the statement issued by the Co-Chairmen of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Minsk Group on the 13th.

He reiterated that he will fully support the two sides in responding to this dangerous situation through consultations for the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region’s efforts to find a peaceful solution.

During the Soviet period, Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous region in Azerbaijan, but the residents were mostly Armenian. In 1988, the local Armenians demanded independence from Azerbaijan and clashed with Azeri residents and police.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war for control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In 1994, the two sides reached a ceasefire under the mediation of the Minsk team.

Since then, the area has been controlled by the local “Al-Zaher Republic,” but the republic has not been recognized by the international community, and the issue of local ownership has not yet been resolved. Over the years, the two countries have had frictions in the border areas. In 2016, there were serious conflicts that killed dozens of soldiers.

There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, largely due to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Due to the two wars waged by the countries in the past century—one from 1918 to 1921 and another from 1988 to 1994—the two have had strained relations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued an official statement in connection with tensions on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses deep concern over the aggravation of situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, which resulted in artillery shelling on July 12, 2020, in the the direction of Tovuz.

We urge the parties to the conflict to make every effort to de-escalate the situation and continue to seek ways to resolve the conflict peacefully, on the basis of generally accepted principles and norms of international law, and United Nations Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, adopted in 1993.

The Ukrainian side advocates a political settlement of the situation based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Russia was “deeply concerned” about the outbreak of violence and was willing to mediate. “We urge both parties to show restraint and to comply with their obligations under the ceasefire.”

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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