Azerbaijani NGOs appeal to international community over Armenia’s continued landmine terror

Azerbaijan’s non-governmental organizations appealed to the international community over Armenia’s continued landmine terror against the people of Azerbaijan, News.Az reports.

The appeal reads:

“Dear all,

“It is not the first time we, the non-governmental organizations of Azerbaijan, are appealing to the world because of the tragedy unfolding in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan. Time and again we asked for your solidarity, support, and compassion in facing the deadly threat mines and ERWs pose to innocent civilians. However, despite all our efforts, the only thing that is changing is the number of victims.

“It stood at 298. This was the latest number of Azerbaijanis who were killed or wounded by mines and ERW since November 2020. However, that number has now changed to 301, as three more lives were claimed less than 24 hours ago by yet another seed of death planted by the Armenian armed forces.

“This time, it was the very people who risked their lives to make the lives of others safe. Remember their names: Nadir Yusifov, Sakhavat Gozalov, Farid Sadiyev. Their only purpose was to expedite humanitarian demining in the territories, which turned into a desolate wasteland during some 30 years of occupation. Now they are gone, and nothing can bring them back.

“The road to peace is never easy. The major difficulties we are facing in restoring peace and stability in our region are yet another example of how difficult and painful the steps to peace can be. However, each mine-related incident, each death, and each injury make this process even more convoluted. It is not just the expansion in volume because of the extreme release of energy that occurs each time a mine or ERW goes off. It is also the feeling of people who see their loved ones die for no reason whatsoever.

“Not only does Armenia refuse to cooperate in providing reliable information on minefields, but it also continues to deploy mines both at the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as within the territories of Azerbaijan temporarily controlled by the Russian peacekeepers. These mines are marked in Armenia with their production dates, which proves that their deployment was after the agreement of 2020.

“Having failed to prevent Azerbaijan from restoring control over its internationally recognized territories Armenia hopes that mine terror will prevent us from rebuilding our lands from ashes. “We are confident that our people will return to their ancestral lands. However, this return must be safe, and mines are the biggest threat our people are facing as they go back. No sustainable development or socio-economic reintegration can be achieved without successful demining. No progress can be made towards lasting peace until and unless we address the issue of the mortal danger posed by mines and ERWs.

“We appeal to the international community to call upon Armenia for their full cooperation in mitigating the consequences of its irresponsible, indiscriminate use of mines in civilian areas with no military necessity. We need our lands to be freed from the horrifying heritage of hatred in the name of future generations of all the citizens of Azerbaijan who will live in these areas.”


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