The situation within the region of Karabakh remains precarious, marked by persistent reports of aggression from Azerbaijani forces against Artsakh and growing concerns about the fate of the Armenian population. The Armenian Chairman, Pashinyan, has expressed that the responsibility for the future of the Armenian people in Karabakh would fall entirely on Azerbaijan and Russian peacekeepers. Amidst these tensions, the National Committee declared a shutdown of the metro due to a planned rally in Republic Square, while 23 injured in Karabakh were transported to Armenia for medical treatment.
International Involvement and Humanitarian Aid
Given the escalating situation, international involvement has been vital. The US Secretary General has met with both Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers, voicing worries over the prevailing conditions in Karabakh. Meanwhile, Russian peacekeepers and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have delivered 215 tons of humanitarian cargo to Karabakh in an effort to alleviate the hardships faced by the local population.
Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reiterated the country's commitment to preserving its sovereignty, independence, and democratic values. This commitment is crucial, considering the alleged advancement of Azerbaijani forces towards the Stepanakert suburb. The Russian Defense Ministry has also reported that Russian peacekeepers have delivered over 50 tons of humanitarian aid to Stepanakert, a critical gesture amidst rising tensions and increasing cyberattacks on the Armenian internet domain.
Deteriorating Conditions and Escalating Protests
While diplomatic efforts continue, the situation on the ground remains challenging. The International Christian Solidarity has reported a food shortage in Artsakh shops. In addition, a US Delegation visited the European Union Mission Headquarters in Armenia, indicating a growing international concern. The Human Rights Defender's office has also received reports of Azerbaijani information terrorism in Artsakh, further escalating the crisis.
In the face of these challenges, the Armenian Prime Minister and German Chancellor engaged in discussions about the situation in Karabakh, with the Prime Minister emphasizing the importance of respecting Armenia's territorial integrity. Protests continue in Yerevan, with a rally kicking off in Republic Square.
Peacekeeping Efforts and Humanitarian Concerns
While the situation remains volatile, peacekeeping efforts are underway. The UN Secretary General welcomed the proposal for Iranian Armed Forces to act as peacekeepers. Discussions about the Nagorno Karabakh situation were held between the Russian Foreign Minister and the ICRC President. The Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister also discussed the Artsakh crisis with a UN Official.
However, the humanitarian conditions are of significant concern, particularly for the homeless and children. Plans are in place to relocate families left homeless, and who wish to leave Karabakh, to Armenia. Reports of an eight-year-old child suffering a cardiac rupture due to bombings highlight the severity of the situation. The Karabakh Defense Army has started handing over its weapons, while hundreds of people are searching for their missing relatives in Karabakh.
In summary, the situation in Karabakh continues to be unstable and tense, with a significant humanitarian crisis looming. Ongoing talks and efforts to maintain peace and provide aid to the affected population are underway. However, these efforts are marred by reports of aggression and violence. The Armenian government has stressed its commitment to its sovereignty and democracy, and there is a growing international involvement and concern over the situation. The outcome of this crisis will undoubtedly have far-reaching effects on the region and beyond.