A group of non-governmental organisations in Azerbaijan have appealed to the international community regarding to the continued mine terror by the Republic of Armenia against Azerbaijani civilians. The appeal made on 29 april 2023 reads:
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 3 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, Sahavat Gezalov, Farid Sadiyev. Their only purpose was to expedite humanitarian demining in the territories 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 feelings of people who see their loved ones die for no reason whatsoever.
Not only does Armenia refuses 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 within the territories of Azerbaijan temporarily controlled by the Russian peacekeepers. These mines are marked in Armenia showing 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 and 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 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.
1. Gunel Safarova – “Citizen Research and Development” Public Union
2. Azer Allahveranov – “Eurasian Migration Initiatives Platform” Public Union
3. Telman Gasimov – “Scientific Research” Public Union
4. Vusala Huseynli – “Women Reformers and Innovation” Public Union
5. Novella Jafarova – “The Association for the Protection of Women’s Rights” Public Union
6. Saida Gojamanly – “Bureau of Human Rights and Law Respect” Public Union
7. Hafiz Safikhanov – “Azerbaijan Campaign Against Landmines” Public Union
8. Rey Karimoglu – “Azerbaijan Mine Victims Association” Public Union
9. Hafiz Hasanov – ”Law and Development” Public Union
10. Rafig İsmayilov – “Civil Society Independent Advice and Assistance Center” Public Union
11. Ilgar Huseynli – “Social Strategic Research and Analytical Investigations” Public Union
12. Saadat Maharramova – “Anti-Corruption Center” Public Union
13. Rafael Bejanov – “Human Rights and Enlightenment” Public Union
14. Saadat Bananyarli – “Azerbaijan National Section of International Society for Human Rights” Public Union
15. Khalid Kazimov – “Regional Human Rights and Media Center” Public Union
16. Elshad Mammadli – “Citizen Enlightenment” Public Union
17. Samad Vakilov – “Commissioner” Legal Center Public Union
18. Lala Azertash – “Media and Community Development” Public Union
19. Casarat Huseynzada – “Support to Information Initiatives” Public Union
20. Ahmet Abbasbeyli – “Development of Society and Civil Relations” Public Union
21. Shamsaddin Aliyev – “Support the police” Public Union
22. Akram Baydamirli – “Social Welfare and Research” Public Union
23. Nadir Ismayilov – “Central Asia and South Caucasus Freedom of Expression Network” Public Union
24. Khanoghlan Ahmadov – “Media and Civil Society” Public Union
25. Agil Jamal – “Common values” Public Union
26. Nadir Jafarov – “Chirag” Humanitarian and Development Public Union
27. Ramil İskandarli – “Legal Analysis and Research” Public Union
28. Nureddin Mehdiyev – “Virtual Karabakh” Communication Technologies Youth Public Union
29. Ilgar Orujov – “Azerbaijan Society of Young Scientists, Postgraduates and Masters” Public Union
30. Zaur İbrahimov – “Priority” Center for Social and Economic Research Public Union