Nagorno Karabagh has been isolated from Armenia for more than 250 days. The Berdzor-Lachin corridor, which connects the separatist region to the south of the neighboring territory, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since December 12. Since then, the humanitarian crisis has worsened for around 1,200 Armenians who face shortages of food, water and other basic supplies for survival. The former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, urges the international community to stop the “genocide” in progress.
It is an isolation that has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis faced by 120,000 Armenian citizens in Nagorno-Karabakh. The population of this self-proclaimed independent republic region stopped being supplied with gas a long time ago, after Azerbaijan, which considers that territory its own, decided to interrupt the service since the beginning of the blockade, just when the cold was looming.
At present, the supply of electricity and water is also faltering, which reaches homes in drops. Aquifer reserves alert a health emergency. There is no food beyond counted units of bread and watermelon.
The city of Stepanakert is a picture of long lines of people getting a piece of bread after long hours of waiting. This scenario is sometimes complemented by those who collapse in the street as a result of their poor diet.
Vehicles from the International Committee of the Red Cross or from the Russian peacekeeping troops, which initially transported food, medicine and essential products, have not entered for a long time. In turn, a convoy of 22 humanitarian aid trucks sent by the Government of Armenia has been stationed in the border village of Kornidzor for a month. The blockade is complete. This is how the leadership of Azerbaijan ordered it.
The checkpoint that Azerbaijan installed illegally, according to the term of vast countries and international sectors, is the obstacle of the connection of Nagorno Karabagh with the world.
In addition, it adds to a box of surprises. On July 29, a 68-year-old patient in serious health condition was evacuated in a Red Cross vehicle with the intention of being treated in a hospital in Armenia. Arriving at the Azerbaijani checkpoint, border guards requested his passport and he was taken for questioning.
The man never returned. Later, the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement denouncing that the kidnapping of an individual under humanitarian protection violates international law. However, the Armenian citizen had already been transferred to Baku where a criminal case was initiated against him for alleged war crimes in the first Nagorno-Karabakh war.
The action of Azerbaijan was described as unfounded by the Armenian side, since it assured that the man participated in the war in the early 90s as a volunteer soldier, just as every male citizen has done in times when the Army The Armenian Defense Department was going through its initial stage of formation to face the invasion and persecution of Azerbaijan, after the independence of the Soviet Union in 1991.
According to this logic, any member of the male population could be the victim of a criminal case and a long sentence in Azerbaijan.
For its part, the Russian peacekeeping contingent, installed in the disputed territory since the end of the 2020 war, remains there despite questions about its inaction during the eight-month blockade of the so-called “life corridor”.
As the Armenian population struggles for their livelihood, Russian troops receive assistance via helicopters stationed at their military base. This information was revealed by the Nagorno Karabagh Human Rights defender, Gegham Stepanyan, who pointed out the survival method of the Russian soldiers, who are there with the mission of guaranteeing the security and stability of the Armenian population. However, today the inhabitants enjoy neither a secure life nor food.
At the gates of a “genocide”?
The Nagorno Karabagh authorities have made innumerable calls to the international community to implement concrete sanction measures against Azerbaijan, in the midst of a scenario that they compare to a concentration camp.
In his latest statement, President Arayik Harutyunyan turned to different international actors – Russia, the European Union, the OSCE Minks Group, the UN Security Council, among others – with express requests to avoid isolating the population Nagorno Karabakh Armenia.
For his part, the former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, published a report in which he described the blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan as “genocide”.
“Hunger is the invisible weapon of genocide. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks,” his report stated.
In turn, Moreno Ocampo assured that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has genocidal intentions, since he has voluntarily blocked the corridor, even after being notified about the consequences of his actions by the orders. provisions of the International Court of Justice.
In a context where the global situation is chaotic, the sentence of the Argentine lawyer concluded with the question: “Is it possible to help the European, Russian and American leaders to reach a joint position to stop the ongoing Armenian genocide?
If they could agree, the food will reach the Armenians in one day. The conflict in Nagorno Karabagh is an opportunity for the international community to develop an innovative and harmonious solution to prevent genocide.”
Source: France 24