Nagorno-Karabakh Escalation: Unpacking Recent Conflict
The Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has historically been a flashpoint for territorial and ethnic disputes, has seen violence erupt once more. Due to Azerbaijan’s current military campaign, which is being promoted as an “anti-terror” endeavor, the South Caucasus is once again tense. Worries that a major confrontation may break out have been raised as a result. To put an end to the conflict and clear the way for long-lasting peace in the region, this essay analyses the historical context, the justifications for the military operations, and the complicated elements of the situation.
Origins of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict originally surfaced at the turn of the 20th century while the area was still a part of the Russian Empire. However, the current conflict started during the last few years of the Soviet Union’s existence. The predominantly ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh attempted to secede from Azerbaijan because of historical, cultural, and racial issues. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, tensions increased, leading to the Nagorno-Karabakh War, which lasted from 1988 to 1994.
Previous Conflicts and Peace Agreements
The conflict has been characterized by numerous instances of severe fighting and few cease-fire agreements. The most famous battle, which caused the forced migration of a sizable portion of the population and claimed thousands of lives, lasted from 1988 until 1994. When the current line of contact was established in 1994 as a result of a cease-fire agreement, the conflict was virtually put on pause. Numerous peace talks, including those sponsored by the OSCE Minsk Group, have taken place, but no lasting agreement has been reached.
The objective of Azerbaijan’s latest military campaign in Nagorno-Karabakh, which it describes as an “anti-terror” operation, is to disarm what it sees as illegal armed formations. Azerbaijan said the objective is to regain control of the region and persuade ethnic-Armenian insurgents to give up. However, the operation has heightened the region’s already high levels of tension and raised concerns about the likelihood of a full-scale conflict starting up again.
Armenia has strongly condemned
The military intervention by Azerbaijan, which it described as a ground operation, aimed to “ethnically cleanse” the area. The international community has called for an urgent halt to hostilities to reach a peaceful solution. Organisations like the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia, among others, have urged all parties to exercise restraint and participate in dialogue.
Russia’s Role and Diverted Attention
Russia has always been a major player in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict due to its membership in the OSCE Minsk Group, a body that conducts peace talks. Russia’s recent focus on the Ukraine issue, nevertheless, might have caused it to become disengaged from the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which could have an impact on its capacity to mediate and influence the region.
Turkey’s Support and Its Implications
The parameters of the conflict have been significantly impacted by Turkey‘s increased support for Azerbaijan in recent years, particularly during the 2020 war. It strengthens the geopolitical repercussions of the South Caucasus by establishing itself as a significant player and opposing the historically Russian-dominated influence.
The continued warfare has resulted in human losses, building damage, and relocation. The military actions and bombardment have major negative humanitarian consequences and endanger the lives and livelihoods of locals. To safeguard vulnerable communities and relieve suffering, interventions and quick humanitarian aid are crucial.
Upholding international humanitarian law, which calls for protecting people and civilian infrastructure during battles, is essential. Calls for an early ceasefire from the international community, which also emphasizes the need to respect humanitarian values and ensure the safety and security of all parties involved in the battle, reflect the urgency of the situation.
The historical, geographical, and humanitarian components of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict highlight how crucial it is for countries to cooperate and engage in diplomacy. A peaceful resolution is necessary for the area to reestablish stability and defend the lives and well-being of its citizens. To promote dialogue, protect international law, and aid in the negotiations of a long-term peace agreement in Nagorno-Karabakh, international players must take a proactive approach.