By Akbar Mammadov
Head of the Nagorno-Karabakh’s Azerbaijani community Tural Ganjaliyev has said that the community will step up its efforts towards raising awareness about Khojaly among the international community and its recognition as genocide. He also said that perpetrators of the massacre must be brought to justice.
"All necessary measures will be taken for the recognition of the Khojaly genocide by the rest of the world. We will make every effort to ensure that the former leadership of Armenia responsible for the committing of this genocide - Serzh Sargsyan, Robert Kocharyan, and their henchman Arthur Lukasyan - are held accountable. We will demand that each of them are held responsible before the Azerbaijani people, and this, will happen soon," Ganjaliyev said.
Ganjaliyev made the remarks while addressing the event to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide hosted by Baku Music Academy (BMA) and organized by The Academy and the Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“The purpose of this massacre committed by Armenia was to exterminate Azerbaijanis, commit an act of genocide against them. Executioners such as Robert Kocharyan, Serzh Sargsyan, who are representatives of the Karabakh regime, repeatedly acknowledged that they committed this crime - one of the bloodiest acts of genocide in the 20th century. We will do everything possible to ensure that those who committed this crime against civilians are duly punished. For this we must use all possible ways. More efforts in bringing Sargsyan and Kocharyan to justice within the international law are needed.”
“Commemorating the anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy, we once again tell the world community that we haven’t forgotten our past,” Ganjaliyev noted.
Ganjaliyev also said that large-scale work is underway towards recognizing the Khojaly tragedy at the international level as genocide, adding that 10 countries have already recognized the Khojaly genocide.
“As part of the “Justice for Khojaly!” campaign, raising public awareness is being carried out in many countries… Already 10 countries have recognized this tragedy as genocide. We will continue our efforts.”
On February 26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, ambushed and killed as many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people fleeing strategic Khojaly town. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.
The conflict between the two countries started in 1988 with Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war that lasted till 1994, Armenian armed forces occupied around 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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