Armenia calls for UN help on Nagorno-Karabakh

AFP , Saturday 12 Aug 2023

Armenia on Saturday urged the UN Security Council to hold a crisis meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh, citing a "deteriorating humanitarian situation" after accusing Azerbaijan of blocking supplies to the disputed region.

Armenian war veterans and army volunteers are seen blocked by law enforcement officers on a road just before the Lachin corridor after the group gathered in Kornidzor, a village on the border with Azerbaijan, with the intention to unblock the Lachin corridor - the sole road linking the breakaway Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, themselves and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Karabakh, on August 9, 2023. AFP


The Caucasus neighbours have been locked in a dispute over the enclave -- internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan -- since the 1980s and fought two wars over the territory.

The second, in 2020, saw the defeat of Armenian forces and significant territorial gains for Azerbaijan.

"The Armenian government demands the intervention of the UN Security Council as the main organ for safeguarding global security," Mher Margaryan, Armenia's permanent representative to the UN, said in a letter to the body.

For months, Yerevan has accused Baku of stopping traffic through the Lachin corridor -- a short, mountainous road linking Armenia to Armenian-populated settlements in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In his letter, Margaryan referred to "serious shortages" of food, medicine and fuel in the majority Armenian-populated region of Azerbaijan and cuts in electricity and gas supplies.

"This situation has led to rising mortality due to several illnesses," said Margaryan, citing patients suffering from conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

"The population of Nagorno-Karabakh today stands on the edge of a veritable humanitarian catastrophe," he warned, accusing Azerbaijan of "deliberately creating unbearable living conditions for the population."

That, he wrote, amounted to an "atrocity" designed to force them from their homes.

Armenia and international aid groups have meanwhile been warning that the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is dire and deteriorating, with shortages of food, medicines and energy.

The two neighbours have been unable to reach a lasting peace settlement despite mediation efforts by the European Union, United States and Russia.

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