By Akbar Mammadov
The Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh has issued a statement on the 102nd anniversary of March 31 Genocide of Azerbaijanis, calling for legal assessment of the mass killing of Azerbaijani civilians by Armenians.
“Over 80,000 Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region call on the international community to support Azerbaijan's just position to give an objective political and legal assessment to the historical acts of aggression against the Azerbaijani people,” community said in the statement published in the local media on March 31.
The community detailed the ethnic policy pursued by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in the past 200 years.
“The main goal of this nationalist-chauvinist policy was to expel the Azerbaijanis from their historical lands and create the "Greater Armenia" state invented by the Armenians in the ancient territories of Azerbaijan”, the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh stressed.
“In the early twentieth century, Armenian nationalists expanded their activities to implement the idea of a "Greater Armenia" put forward in the program of the “Dashnaktsutyun” party and began to pursue a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide, systematically expelling Azerbaijanis from their historical lands. Thus, in 1905-1906, Armenians committed massacres against peaceful Azerbaijanis in Baku, Ganja, Karabakh, Yerevan, Nakhchivan, Ordubad, Sharur-Daralayaz, Tbilissi, Zangazur, Gazakh and other places. The population was ruthlessly killed, towns and villages were burned and destroyed,” the community said.
Touching upon the historical background of the “Dashnaktsutyun” party and Armenian National Congress, the community also stressed that Stephan Shaumyan, who was appointed as Interim Emergency Commissioner for Caucasus Affairs in 1917, was the organizer of the massive massacre of Azerbaijanis.
“In early 1918, on the eve of the March massacre, the number of Armenian armed forces directly subordinated to Shaumyan was about 20,000. On March 30 of the same year, Armenian-Bolshevik forces shelled Baku from ships. After that, armed Dashnaks attacked the houses of Azerbaijanis and committed brutal murders. On March 31 and the first days of April, thousands of peaceful Azerbaijanis were killed solely on the basis of their ethnicity,” the community said.
“As a result of the Armenian armed attack, more than 16,000 people were killed with special cruelty in the first five months of 1918 in Guba district, 167 villages were destroyed, 35 of which no longer exist,” the community noted.
The Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh also stressed that the facts of Armenian-Dashnak gangs massacring Azerbaijanis in Guba district have recently been proven: “Thus, the finding of mass graves in the city of Guba in 2007 is a confirmation of the Armenian vandalism. During the investigation of the cemetery, it was determined that people were subjected to all kinds of violence during the attack of the Armenian armed forces on Guba in 1918, and that the cemetery belonged to the locals who were later buried en masse,” the community added.
“It should also be noted that Armenian military units under the leadership of Amazasp committed massacres against the Turkish-Muslim population and Jews in Guba. As a result of the research, it was revealed that about 3,000 Jews were killed by Armenians in Guba in 1918-1919,” the statement said.
In addition, Armenians destroyed and burned hundreds of Azerbaijani settlements, including 157 villages in Karabakh, as well as committed brutal massacres of Azerbaijanis in Shusha. During this period, 167 settlements in Guba district, 110 settlements in Shamakhi district, 115 settlements in Zangazur district, 211 settlements in Iravan province, 92 settlements in Kars province were burned, destroyed and looted. In March-April 1918, about 50,000 people were killed by Armenian Dashnaks in Baku and other Azerbaijani territories with special torture. More than 10,000 Azerbaijanis were brutally killed in Zangazur district and 10,270 in Shamakhi district.
In general, as a result of the massacres committed by Armenians in 1918-1920 in Baku, Guba, Shamakhi, Kurdamir, Lankaran, Shusha, Iravan province, Zangazur, Nakhchivan, Sharur, Ordubad, Kars and other regions, tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis killed in the most brutal manner, and more than a million people were expelled from their native lands. While these atrocities were committed by Armenians in the historical lands of Azerbaijan, schools, mosques were burned, material and cultural samples were destroyed.
The Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh also stressed that Armenia grossly violated all international legal instruments, in particular Articles I and II of the UN Charter, as well as the basic principles of international law enshrined in the CSCE / OSCE Helsinki Final Act of 1 August 1975.
“One of the facts proving the sustainability of this criminal policy of Armenia is that only in the XX century Azerbaijanis were subjected to genocide and ethnic cleansing four times - in 1905-1906, 1918-1920, 1948-1953 and finally in 1988-1993 by Armenian nationalists,” the community said.
“In the meantime, UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, adopted in 1993 in connection with Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan, stating the need for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of its borders, the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan”, the appeal emphasized.
However, despite four UN Security Council resolutions, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and other international organizations, the conflict has not been resolved within the framework of our country's territorial integrity and sovereignty because the obvious military aggression of Armenia so far.
Therefore, the international community must take decisive practical steps and take the necessary measures to put an end to the policy of ethnic cleansing and aggression against Azerbaijanis by increasing pressure on Armenia.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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