By Akbar Mammadov
The Balligaya massacre of 1992 is one of the series of massacres committed by the Armenian armed forces in Garadagli village of Khojavend region, Khojaly city, and Agdaban village of Kalbajar region in order to destroy the Azerbaijani population of Karabakh, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued today, on the 28th anniversary of the massacre.
The ministry reminded that as a result of the massacre in Balligaya village of Azerbaijan’s Goranboy region, 24 Azerbaijani civilians, including 6 minors, as well as a 6-month-old baby and a 93-year-old woman were brutally killed. The bodies of some of the victims, most of them being children, women, and the elderly were burned.
“We strongly condemn Armenia's purposeful and ongoing policy based on genocide, a crime against humanity, racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing against the Azerbaijani people, and declare that, in order to achieve peace and reconciliation in the context of resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict,” the ministry’s statement reads.
The ministry stressed the importance to put an end to impunity for all war crimes and crimes against humanity, including acts of ethnic cleansing and genocide perpetrated during the Armenian military aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan, and to restore justice to the victims of those crimes.
The ministry noted that the acts of war, as well as crimes against humanity and genocide acts committed by Armenia against the backdrop of the ongoing aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan, are a gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.
“We remind that in addition to the responsibilities of the Republic of Armenia for its activities contrary to the international law, certain acts committed in the context of armed conflict are considered international criminal acts in accordance with the customs and treaty norms of international criminal law, and therefore the persons involved in commissioning of these acts, and those who associated with them and assisted them, are also individually responsible,” the ministry said.
Furthermore, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry reiterated Baku’s commitment to take the necessary steps, using all opportunities and national mechanisms established by national legislation and international law, to provide an adequate legal assessment of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against its civilian population, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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