Armenians previously living in Nagorno-Karabakh have set fire to and destroyed their homes while leaving the area. As part of the trilateral agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on November 10th, that region is being handed to Azerbaijan and residents must evacuate before November 15th, when it will be given to Azerbaijan. While ethnic Armenians live there, the area was part of Azerbaijan and has been handed over to Azerbaijan to end the hostility between the two countries as per the trilateral agreement. The Kalbajar region will be handed over on November 15th and the Lachin region on December 1st.
On November 10th, Armenians took to the streets to protest the agreement. The hostility between Armenia and Azerbaijan is decades-long. In the 1920s, modern-day Armenia and Azerbaijan were controlled by the Soviet Union, but later given to Azerbaijan. In the 1980s, residents of the region voted to be a part of Armenia, but this decision was not respected resulting in a war that ended with a ceasefire in 1994. The war resulted in the deaths of thousands, and more displaced on both sides. Russia had gotten involved at that time for peacekeeping talks as well, and the land was given to Azerbaijan again with 2,000 Russian troops deployed to maintain the peace.
This year in July, fighting broke out again with Turkey supporting Azerbaijan. Although Turkey does not have an official stance on or relation with Armenia, they conduced mass killings and expulsions of Armenians beginning in 1914 for years known as the Armenian Genocide. Armenians around the world are angered by their president’s decision to agree to the deal and at Azerbaijanis’ celebration of the peace deal. This deal not only further oppresses Armenians who have a long history of fighting for independence and against oppressive governments, but, in the present day, allows this to be a precedent for others on an international level.
Armenians that are now forced to leave their homes set them on fire to show their feelings on the agreement and to the Azerbaijani’s who are set to move in later. As a result of the actions of their government, they cannot reverse the decision made by the agreement, but it does not stop them from speaking against this injustice around the world and calling on others to address it as well. It is important for everyone to be speaking about it and getting their authorities to condemn this agreement and the removal of Armenians from this region.
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