Armenia and Azerbaijan clash despite ceasefire declaration

A day after the Moscow-mediated truce deal, Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations of violations of the ceasefire and of attacks being conducted on the cities of Ganja and Stepanakert

October 12, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Credit : Sputnik News

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of attacking civilian populated areas on Sunday, October 11, a day after a truce was announced in Moscow. On Saturday, both parties agreed to halt hostilities, exchange the bodies of people killed during over two-week long clashes and swap prisoners.

Azerbaijan claimed that within hours of the ceasefire announcement, Armenian forces shelled civilian areas of its second largest city, Ganja, which killed nine people and wounded 33. In retaliation Azerbaijan claimed that its forces carried out air raids against the Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia denied the allegations of its forces attacking civilian areas in Ganja, and instead accused Azerbaijan of attacking civilian areas in Karabakh region, including its capital Stepanakert. Armenia claims that at least five civilians have been killed in the Azeri attacks post the announcement of the ceasefire.

The ceasefire was achieved after a marathon meeting through Russian mediation in Moscow. The first direct contact between both the parties was a result of international pressure on both sides to end the fight and look for a political solution.   

The current round of clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted on September 27 after Azerbaijani forces tried to recapture its territories currently under Armenian control. Both the countries have been clashing over the Nagorno-Karabakh and its adjacent regions, recognized as part of Azerbaijan but under the Armenian control since 1991 after ethnic majority of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh announced its secession.

The 1991-94 war between both the countries left over 30,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis displaced from their homes in the Armenian control regions. The international mediation under the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) appointed the Minsk group of Russia, France and the US, which has failed to find an acceptable solution to the conflict.