After the collapse of the Soviet Union, nationalist-separatist Armenians moved into the Karabakh territory of Azerbaijan in the name of helping and asserted territorial claims against Azerbaijan again, which led to the deaths of thousands of people, the displacement of more than a million people from their homelands, and the declaration of war by Armenia against Azerbaijan.
During the First Karabakh War, the Armenian state subjected the Azerbaijani people to genocide and ethnic cleansing by implementing its aggressive policy in front of the world community. At that time, 13,000 Azerbaijanis were killed as a result of military operations, and tens of thousands of people were maimed. To this day, there is no information about the fate of nearly 4,000 Azerbaijanis who went missing in that war.
In 2020, Azerbaijan did not tolerate the inactivity of the OSCE Minsk Group anymore and implemented the UN Security Council’s four resolutions; No. 822, 853, 874 and 884 adopted in 1993 regarding the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and the Commander-in-Chief, Great General, President Ilham Aliyev liberated our native Karabakh from occupation by destroying the Armenian army and the illegal military formations stationed in the occupied territories in the 44-day Second Karabakh Patriotic War that started on September 27. As a result, the Armenian side turned to Azerbaijan and Russia and was forced to sign the act of capitulation on November 10, accepting their heavy losses and defeat.
After the war, Azerbaijan began to carry out restoration and reconstruction works in the territories freed from occupation. Demining works were carried out in those areas in order to return the people living there, regardless of their religion or nationality, to their native lands.
During this process, Azerbaijan, unfortunately, repeatedly discovered mass graves of our compatriots who died during the First Karabakh War which are still considered missing and were subjected to Armenian vandalism.
As a result of the search and investigative measures carried out these days, another mass grave with human remains filled with wires and ropes, as well as traces of torture, was discovered in the liberated village of Edilli of the Khojavend region. This is a gross violation of the moral and legal principles of human society, which undermines the concept of humanity.
The world community did not want to hear Azerbaijan’s voice of truth for years, and despite the fact that today they are a Party of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and their two Additional Protocols adopted on June 8, 1977, which ensure the protection of war victims of Armenia, in the last 30 years, international humanitarian law testifies that it grossly violates its universally recognized norms and principles, neglects and irresponsibly treats its international legal obligations.
By not giving information about the fate of 3,890 missing Azerbaijani hostages and prisoners of war, Armenia continues to violate its international obligations. As we know, today, in the post-conflict period, the relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan are deepening in the economic, political, cultural and humanitarian fields and the EU sees Azerbaijan as a strategic partner. In this regard, the European Union has undertaken to play an active role in the formation of a sustainable and comprehensive settlement in the South Caucasus, including thorough support for stabilization, post-conflict transformation, trust and reconciliation measures.
The European Union has already invited the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to the table several times in order to sign the Peace Treaty and ensure security and peace in the region. One of the issues discussed as a priority by President Ilham Aliyev at Brussels meetings was the provision of information about the actions taken in connection with the captives, missing persons, hostages, and their fate. Unfortunately, in spite of all this, Armenia ignores the calls of the European Union for peace talks and accuses Azerbaijan of using violence against any Armenian soldier. However, all of those accusations are unjustified, not based on any facts and everything is happening in front of the eyes of the world community.
Although the Armenians have not taken any measures to return the hostages and provide information about the locations of mass graves, in order to prevent false accusations and untruthful information, Azerbaijan, has released the information about the mass graves discovered in the territories freed from occupation to the world as it was considered necessary to convey it to the public.
Genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed by Armenians against the people of Azerbaijan over a period of nearly 30 years is an unacceptable behaviour directed against humanity as a whole.
The fact that our state, which is a participant of the four Geneva Conventions, guided by the principle of humanism, repeatedly returned the Armenian soldiers who were captured during military operations to the other side abiding by the norms and principles of international law and implemented all possible measures to maintain lasting peace and tranquillity in the region, should not reassure the Armenian side.
The world community sees that Azerbaijan, unlike Armenia, is always faithful to its obligations arising from international law, and we believe that despite the existing injustices, political hypocrisy, and the preferential position taken against Armenia, which has its eyes on the territory of other states, the war crimes committed against our countrymen and compatriots will not go unpunished.
Mazahir Afandiyev – Member of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan