Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over control of Nagorno-Karabakh broke out on September 27 and has claimed the lives of over 500 military personnel.
An Azerbaijani soldier walking among the debris of destroyed houses in a residential area in Azerbaijan’s Ganja city (Photo Credits: AP)
Armenia and Azerbaijan have announced a cease-fire in a bid to put an end to fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that has claimed hundreds of lives. This ‘humanitarian truce’ effective from midnight Sunday will be the second attempt by Armenia and Azerbaijan to establish a cease-fire.
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov made the announcement following deadly clashes that led to casualties on both sides over a period of three weeks. The decision to make a second attempt at peace was made in consultation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who insisted on the two countries abiding by the ‘Moscow deal’.
Russia had brokered the first cease-fire between Armenia and Azerbaijan since fighting erupted on September 27.
However, the truce was short-lived with both sides blaming each other for violating the first cease-fire proposed by the Russian foreign ministry.
A report by the Associated Press had indicated that at least 532 members of the militaries of Armenia and Azerbaijan have lost their lives in this recent escalation over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both sides had further accused each other of shelling residential areas which led to the loss of civilian lives.
What is Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Fighting over control of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted on September 27 of this year. While Armenia claimed four Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down and 33 Azerbaijani tanks and fighting vehicles had been neutralised by artillery, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev gave little details of military losses at first.
Nagorno-Karabakh falls within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since a war between the South Caucasus neighbors there ended in 1994.