World44-Day War: Civilians First Victims of Armenian Violations of Humanitarian Ceasefires

44-Day War: Civilians First Victims of Armenian Violations of Humanitarian Ceasefires

AA / Paris / Ümit Dönmez

Wanting to avoid defeat whatever the human cost attributed to the enemy and in particular to civilians, Armenia did not hesitate to commit war crimes and violate the humanitarian ceasefire agreements concluded with Azerbaijan. , during the 44-day war (September 27 – November 9, 2020). 94 Azerbaijani civilians perished in Armenian attacks deliberately targeting residential areas of the country. More than 450 other people were injured.
On Saturday October 10, 2020, Russian Diplomacy announced that after 10 hours of negotiations, Azerbaijan and Armenia had agreed on a humanitarian ceasefire from noon. [1] in the Karabakh region and other Azerbaijani regions then occupied by Armenian forces for three decades, and where the “second Karabakh war” had been raging for two weeks.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had declared that this ceasefire would allow “the exchange of prisoners of war, other people and the bodies of those killed, in accordance with the criteria of the Committee of the Red Cross ”, And that its“ specific parameters ”for implementation would be established later.

– An agreement violated after 34 minutes

It only took 34 minutes for the Armenian side to violate this humanitarian ceasefire agreement, and in the most severe way; by targeting residential areas located up to several hundred kilometers from the Armenian-Azerbaijani front, areas obviously populated by civilians.
In the early afternoon, on Saturday October 10, the Azerbaijani districts of Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam, Aghjabadi and Fuzouli were targeted by intensive bombardments by the Armenian army. On the same day, Azerbaijani forces found the remains of a ballistic missile fired the day before from Armenian territory at the Azerbaijani city of Mingachevir (more than 200 kilometers from the military clashes) and destroyed in the air by the Azerbaijani Defense. [2].

– 34 dead and hundreds injured

During the humanitarian ceasefire concluded the day before, on the night of October 10 to 11, the Azerbaijani town of Ganja, located 250 kilometers north of the front, was targeted for the third time since the start of the war by the ballistic missile from Yerevan.
At least 9 civilians were killed that day, including four women. 34 people were injured while dozens of buildings were destroyed or damaged. These attacks obviously constituted war crimes, according to international law, in particular the Geneva Conventions defining war crimes.
During the four rounds of ballistic missile attacks carried out by Armenian forces in October 2020 against the city of Ganja alone, at least 34 civilians were killed while hundreds were injured.

– “Armenia: Rockets and illegal missile strikes on Azerbaijan”

In a report published in December 2020 [3] – the non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) established that “Armenian military forces carried out indiscriminate and illegal rocket and missile strikes on Azerbaijan during hostilities from September to November 2020”.

“During on-site investigations in Azerbaijan in November, Human Rights Watch documented 11 incidents in which Armenian forces used ballistic missiles, unguided artillery rockets and large caliber artillery projectiles that affected populated areas, in apparently indiscriminate attacks. In at least four other cases, ammunition hit civilians or civilian objects in areas where there were apparently no military targets, ”HRW noted.

– Violations of international law

“Armenian forces have repeatedly launched missiles, unguided rockets and heavy artillery at inhabited towns and villages, in violation of the laws of war,” noted Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human. Rights Watch, cited in report.

“On many occasions during the six-week war, these attacks illegally destroyed the lives and homes of civilians and they should be the subject of an impartial investigation,” he added.

In its report, the NGO established a long list of war crimes and violations committed “deliberately” by the Armenian authorities, including the use of unguided Smerch artillery rockets and Scud-B ballistic missiles to target targets. civilians, raising the question of an impartial investigation under international law against the Armenian authorities who ordered or carried out these war crimes and violations of humanitarian law.


[1] “Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia” – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation – October 10, 2020

[2] “Azerbaijan Presents Parts of Armenian Ballistic Missile Shot Down During Mingachevir Bombing (PHOTO)” – – October 10, 2020

[3] “Armenia: Rockets and Illegal Missile Strikes on Azerbaijan” – Human Rights Watch (HRW) – December 11, 2020

Armenia: Unlawful Rocket, Missile Strikes on Azerbaijan

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