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27 Sep 2020 | 09:39 AM UTC

Armenia: Authorities declare martial law and full military mobilization on September 27 /update 1

Armenia News Alert

Armenian authorities declare martial law and full military mobilization on September 27 following clashes with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh; monitor situation

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/27/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Yerevan). COUNTRY/REGION Azerbaijan, Armenia

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Event

Armenian authorities declared martial law and full military mobilization on Sunday, September 27, following clashes with Azerbaijani forces in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. A state of war and general mobilization has also been declared by the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, with all over-18s told to prepare to be called up.

Azerbaijani forces reportedly carried out strikes on civilian settlements in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, including the regional capital Stepanakert, early on Sunday morning. Residents of the area have been instructed to seek refuge in shelters. Armenian claimed that several Azerbaijani aircraft had been shot down in response, with Azerbaijani officials confirming some losses. Following the separatist retaliation, Azerbaijan has launched what it claims to be a 'counter-offensive' in response to the strikes. Several civilians and soldiers have reportedly been killed, with unverified footage claiming to show the destruction of a number of Azerbaijani armored vehicles.

Further clashes in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region are highly likely over the near term. Clashes along the length of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border outside the Nagorno-Karabakh region cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence and a disruption to transportation are expected.

Context

Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan have a long-standing dispute over the possession of Nagorno-Karabakh, home to some 150,000 inhabitants (mostly ethnic Armenians) and located in the west of Azerbaijan. This issue has fueled tensions between the two countries since 1988; some 30,000 people were killed in fighting from 1990 to 1994. The two countries declared another ceasefire in April 2016 after the region experienced four days of violent clashes that left hundreds dead.

Tensions between the two countries remain high and each side frequently accuses the other of violating the ceasefire agreement.

Advice

Western governments generally advise their citizens against all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. Those in Armenia are advised to monitor developments and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

 

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