Azerbaijan reiterates call for pressure on Armenia over minefield maps
Armenia should be pressured to provide Azerbaijan with accurate minefield maps, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, News.Az reports.
The ministry said one of the main threats to the ongoing large-scale reconstruction work in the post-conflict period after the liberation of Azerbaijani territories, to the military personnel and the civilian population operating in these territories, as well as to the return of internally displaced persons and their peaceful living in their places, is the fact that Armenia purposefully has mined the Azerbaijani territories over the past 30 years and continues to bury mines.
Armenia, in violation of paragraph 4 of the Trilateral Statement of November 10, 2020, Armenia continues illegal military activities in the territories of Azerbaijan, avoids withdrawing its forces from the territory of Azerbaijan, and continues to plant a large number of anti-personnel mines in the territories of Azerbaijan. This causes an increase in the number of people killed by mines not only on the former contact line but also in other areas, the ministry stated.
"In general, over the past 30 years, the number of victims of mine explosions in Azerbaijan amounted to 3,345 people. A total of 266 citizens became landmine victims, of which 48 people died, including three reporters from the end of the Second Karabakh War. Of the 45 dead, 35 are civilians. Moreover, 38 women and 357 children became the victims of landmines over the past 30 years," the ministry informed.
"As of August 2022, after the Armenians left the territory of the Lachin district, more than 1,400 E-001M mines, manufactured in Armenia in 2021, were found on the territory, as well as new booby traps were found on the doorsteps of houses and in courtyards in Zabukh and Sus villages of Lachin district on October 3, which indicates the scale and severity of the threat," it said.
The ministry stated that the laying of the mines on the territory of Azerbaijan once again demonstrates that, despite the fact that the Lachin corridor is intended only for the passage of civilians, goods and vehicles in accordance with paragraph 6 of the tripartite statement, the abuse of this road for the illegal military activities of Armenia continues. It also demonstrates that claims that Armenia allegedly didn't produce or export mines over the past decades are not true, Armenian subversive groups using the dark time of the day and the difficult terrain of the territory, tried to mine the supply routes and the territories between the positions of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces.
The ministry noted that the reliability of the mine maps provided by Armenia since the signing of the tripartite statement on November 10, 2020, is only 25 percent. About 55 percent of recent mine explosions have occurred in mined areas not shown on maps. At the same time, Armenia initially completely denied the existence of these cards.
“This activity of Armenia is a war crime and serious pressure should be put on this country. The Azerbaijani side has repeatedly raised the issue of mobilizing efforts to eliminate these threats and provide large-scale assistance in the humanitarian mine clearance carried out by Azerbaijan. In this regard, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov sent a corresponding letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on August 23, 2022, which was distributed among all UN members,” it added.