The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is concerned over the recent re-escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh (also known as Artsakh), in which Azerbaijan shelled civilian areas of Nagono-Karabakh, resulting in the deaths of over 200 people, with over 400 injured, and 7000 fleeing their homes as Azerbaijan has occupied villages. The attacking of civilian-populated areas is a war crime, violating one of the fundamental rules of international humanitarian law that requires protection of civilians.
This violence comes in the context of the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the road linking the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, which Azerbaijan has blocked since December 2022. 120,000 ethnic Armenians have been unable to leave Nagorno-Karabakh. Those that managed to get out early in the blockade are not permitted to return, indicating ethnic cleansing of the area. Humanitarian aid is desperately needed for those living in the enclave, as food, medicine and fuel have depleted as Azerbaijan blocks entry for any supplies. Electricity is intermittent, and only as much as the citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh can get working themselves. Azerbaijan has blocked gas supplies too. No electricity and gas has been a serious issue during the freezing winter, and so it is hoped there will not be another winter like this. A long line of trucks filled with humanitarian aid sits on the Armenian side of the Lachin Corridor. For some time, not even the International Committee of the Red Cross has not been permitted to enter and bring in much-needed supplies such as food and medicine. This is contrary to Azerbaijan’s obligations under international humanitarian law, including Article 10 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.