Violation of the Minsk Group agreement and continued bombing of Nagorno-Karabakh

Saturday, 31 October 2020 - 15:46

The Minsk Group announced yesterday that Armenia and Azerbaijan have reached an agreement under which both sides will stop attacks on civilian areas and exchange the bodies of the fallen soldiers, but this agreement did not last long like the previous ceasefires.

On October 30 in Geneva, the Minsk Group co-chairs met separately and jointly with the Foreign Ministries of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and issued a four-point statement calling on the parties to fully implement the agreements reached, including the implementation of a humanitarian ceasefire and Adhere to its implementation.

Under this agreement, the sides agreed to take a number of steps on an urgent basis, including:

  • The sides will not deliberately target civilian populations or non-military objects in accordance with international humanitarian law; 
  • The sides will actively engage in the implementation of the recovery and exchange of remains on the battlefield by providing the ICRC and PRCiO the necessary safety guarantees for facilitation; 
  • The sides will deliver to the ICRC and PRCiO, within one week, a list of currently detained prisoners of war for the purposes of providing access and eventual exchange;
  • The sides will provide in writing comments and questions related to possible ceasefire verification mechanisms in accordance with item 2 of the October 10 joint statement.

Nevertheless, the agreement reached under supervision of the Minsk Group was announced while the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides just hours later bombed each other’s areas again, effectively violating the main clause of the agreement.

On Saturday morning, the official Armenian media reported the bombing of the central market, the city of Stepanakert (Khankendi) and Shusha. On the other hand, the official media of Azerbaijan also reported the bombing of Tartar, Agdam and Aghjabedi.

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