Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced an agreement to end the weeks-long conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region effective from Tuesday midnight. As per the deal, Armenia has agreed to withdraw its forces from Azerbaijani territories. The peace deal was mediated by Russia. Pashinyan called the peace agreement a “unspeakably painful” decision for him and for Armenian people but one that was based on the analysis of the military situation. The agreement was signed after Azerbaijan’s forces captured Shusha, the second largest city of Nagorno-Karabakh and pushed for its capital Stepanakert.
The deal was later confirmed by Azerbaijan and Russia. Azeri president Ilham Aliyev in a series of tweets celebrated the announcement of the peace agreement and called it a “historic day” and a “glorious victory”.
This is a historic day. An end is being put to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
— Ilham Aliyev (@presidentaz) November 10, 2020
Azerbaijan had been demanding the withdrawal of Armenian forces from some parts of the region as a precondition for the end of its offensive. As per the agreement, Armenia will withdraw its forces from the region and the border between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan will be guarded by Russian forces. Armenian forces had captured the Azeri territories in the 1991-94 war.
Russia, which has been mediating the negotiations between the two countries, announced deployment of over 1,960 of its soldiers as peacekeepers in the region. According to Russia’s defense ministry, the forces will be deployed for next five years on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The announcement of the peace deal was celebrated by the people in Baku in Azerbaijan. However, in Armenia the people took to the streets in the capital Yerevan. Hundreds of people also marched into the country’s parliament and demanded the resignation of prime minister Pashinyan.
CORRECTION: Footage of the protesters storming the government building in #Yerevan, where the joint agreement on ending hostilities in Karabakh was signed.
Credit: Sputnik Armenia pic.twitter.com/ZeiyMVmMbF
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) November 10, 2020
Nagorno-Karabakh is a region in Azerbaijani territory where Armenian ethic population is in majority. The region had announced its independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Its independence has not been recognized internationally. After a long war between Armenia and Azerbaijan between 1991–1994, Nagorno-Karabakh and its adjacent regions were captured by Armenians. The ceasefire agreement signed in 1994 has failed to bring peace in the region and clashes have been taking place between the two countries ever since. The current round of conflict started on September 28, killing over 1,000 people including a large number of civilians on both sides.