News Alerts

10 Oct 2020 | 05:19 AM UTC

Azerbaijan: Armenian and Azeri governments agree to Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire October 10 /update 12

Azerbaijan News Alert

Armenian and Azeri governments agree to Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire from 12:00 (local time) on October 10; monitor developments

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/9/2020, 11:00 PM until 10/17/2020, 10:59 PM (Asia/Baku). COUNTRY/REGION Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

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Event

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a ceasefire from 12:00 (local time) on Saturday, October 10, following 13 consecutive days of fighting along the Line of Contact in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region in western Azerbaijan. The ceasefire will allow for the exchange of prisoners and the recovery of the bodies of those killed in the conflict and the cessation of hostilities will be followed up with further talks aimed at reaching a settlement regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Over 400 people have been killed since the outbreak of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on September 27. As of Friday, October 9, the defense ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh stated that 376 of their fighters and 22 civilians had been killed since fighting began. Azeri authorities have not commented on military casualties but have stated that 31 civilians had been killed and 168 others wounded as of Thursday, October 8. Fighting occurred along the Line of Contact whilst cities in Nagorno-Karabakh and outside of the conflict zone have been targeted in artillery strikes including Stepanakert, Ganja, Barda, Beylagan, Terter, and Mingecevir.

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 disruptions to transportation are expected.

Context

The latest round of hostilities erupted on September 27, when Azerbaijani forces reportedly carried out strikes on settlements in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, including the regional capital Stepanakert. Following retaliatory attacks by separatist forces, Azerbaijan launched what it claims to be a 'counter-offensive' in response. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have made extensive use of heavy weapons during the clashes, including artillery and loitering munitions, and released footage claiming to show the destruction of enemy armored vehicles and installations. A state of war, martial law, and mobilization have been declared in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh.

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; with some 30,000 people being 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 Azerbaijan are advised to monitor developments and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

 

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