Denounces That Azerbaijan Uses Cluster Bombs In Upper Karabakh

The organization has documented at least four incidents with these munitions in the conflict between Baku and Yerevan, which have not signed the treaty that prohibits them.

The truces agreed in Upper Karabakhhave remained on wet paper The confrontations between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the war for the mountainous enclave do not stop

The escalation in the South Caucasus is about to turn one month old and the fatalities are already in the thousands

This Friday a few hours before the foreign ministers of Yerevan and Baku meet again this time with the Secretary of State of the United States Mike Pompeo to discuss the conflict Human Rights Watch has denounced that Azerbaijan has used cluster bombs in residential areas of Upper Karabakh.

Baku has not signed the 2008 treaty banning this type of ammunition which has an indiscriminate and longlasting effect on civilians neither did Armenia The conflict in Upper Karabakh or Nagorno Karabakhhas consumed the region for three decades.

The civil rights organization has documented on the ground at least four incidents in which Baku has attacked residential areas of Upper Karabakh with cluster bombs and confirms the complaints of the authorities in the region which highlight that roads electricity Gas and communication networks have also been severely damaged

The HRW report speaks of attacks on areas with numerous residential buildings where civilians live including one a few meters from the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Its experts say they have not been able to identify any military equipment or bases in the neighborhoods attacked with these cluster munitions whose use in a residential civilian environment is prohibited by the laws of war

Azerbaijan also reported a few weeks ago that it had suffered cluster bomb attacks However those responsible for Human Rights Watch emphasize that Baku did not allow its team of specialists access to the front line controlled by the Azerbaijani Army or to areas that have been attacked to carry out an onsite investigation

Despite the diplomatic contacts and the two ceasefire agreements negotiated under the mediation of Moscow the hostilities have already claimed about 5000 deaths according to the data revealed this Thursday by Russian President Vladimir Putin some 2000 victims on each side in a conflict that has caused thousands of displaced people from the Upper Karabakh region which calls for selfdetermination to Armenia or other countries

The specialized organizations speak of a humanitarian emergency exacerbated in addition by the coronavirus pandemic

A medic treats a woman at an airraid shelter in Stepanakert the capital of Upper Karabakh on Thursday

A medic treats a woman at an airraid shelter in Stepanakert the capital of Upper Karabakh on Thursday AP
This Friday the leader of Nagorno Karabakh Arayik Harutyunyan has asked Putin to use all possible tools to stop the conflict in a heavily militarized area which serves as a corridor for world energy markets a gas pipeline completed at the end of last year it runs close to the front line of the conflict and extends from Azerbaijan through Turkey

Russia maintains a defense agreement with Armenia by which it would be forced to intervene if attacked but it is also an ally of Azerbaijan and sells arms to both countries

On Thursday Putin who stressed that Upper Karabakh is not Armenian territory defined relations with Baku and Yerevan as equal

Moscow thus aspires to maintain its position as a mediator in the region in which it has had diplomatic hegemony since the collapse of the USSR and in which it is trying to avoid the influence of Turkey which supports Azerbaijan diplomatically and militarily with which has strong ties.

Turkish exports of drones rocket launchers and other military equipment to Azerbaijan have increased sixfold this year and various reports from French Armenian and Russian intelligence point to the participation of Syrian mercenaries in support of Azerbaijani forces and financed by Ankara Turkey denies it.

The international community is concerned that the war will escalate into a regional conflict and draw Russia in support of Armenia and Turkey to back Azerbaijan.

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