Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh)

Wed, 10/11/2023 - 1:00pm

For more than a year, tensions and fighting in and on the border of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) have grown in intensity. In part the result of the nature of the region’s creation under the Soviets in the 1920s, this has had a disastrous effect on the 120,000 ethnic Armenians who call Nagorno-Karabakh home.

On September 19, after months of sporadic violence and illegal blockades across the corridor that links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, separatists declared they would dissolve the enclave by the new year. As a result, in early October, reports emerged suggesting that nearly all ethnic Armenians have fled west to Armenia. Combined with other reports, some human rights defenders fear ethnic cleansing is underway. Earlier, in August, other observers warned of the possibility of genocide.

This is not the first time the international community has turned a blind eye to ethnic violence. USC Shoah Foundation testimonies from survivors and witnesses of genocide underscore what can happen when the world ignores conflicts that have the potential to devolve into atrocity crimes and genocide.

As a path to a peaceful solution in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) appears ever more unlikely, we urge the international community to recognize its responsibility to protect civilian lives.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons