By Akbar Mammadov
The Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region has issued a statement on the 27th anniversary of the occupation of the Kalbajar region by the Armenian armed forces on April 2.
The community stressed that the occupation of the Kalbajar by the Armenian armed forces brought the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh to a new level of occupation.
"As as a result of this military aggression, about 60,000 people in Kalbajar were subjected to ethnic cleansing and were forced to leave their native lands, 511 civilians were killed, and 321 people were taken prisoner and went missing. At present, the population of Kalbajar region have settled in 707 settlements of 56 regions and cities of Azerbaijan,” the community said.
At the same time, architectural monuments in the Kalbajar region were completely looted, burned, destroyed and obliterated.
The community further spoke about the gold, mineral reserves located in the region.
The statement also notes that the Sarsang water reservoir, which is currently under occupation, was built in 1976 on the Tartar River. Since the occupation of the Sarsang Reservoir, Armenians have deliberately discharged 85-90 percent of their annual water consumption when water is not needed, especially in the winter months. When necessary, they release 10-15% of the annual water norm, which leads to a decrease in water levels and the impossibility of irrigation. Sown fields are severely damaged, greenery dries up due to drought, and serious environmental tensions arise. The 400,000 people living below the damaged reservoir are in constant danger.
The community reminded that on April 6, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted a statement by the President of the Security Council, acknowledging the attack on Kalbajar and demanding the immediate withdrawal of troops. The statement said that the Security Council reaffirmed the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of all states in the region.
The Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region also stated that violation of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan by Armenia, destruction and misappropriation of architectural monuments that are examples of world culture, mass, gross violation of human rights, including cultural rights, are completely contrary to the norms and principles of international law.
“The Azerbaijani state and people will never reconcile with this occupation. The successful counter-offensive operations of the Azerbaijani Army on April 2-5, 2016 gave our country great advantages from a military-strategic point of view. First of all, Azerbaijan has won a very important psychological victory. The Azerbaijani Army delivered crushing blows to the enemy and liberated the strategically important heights in the northern and southern parts of Karabakh. Thus, Azerbaijan has demonstrated its ability, potential and determination to liberate its lands,” the statement reads.
“On the 27th anniversary of the occupation of the Kalbajar region by the Armenian armed forces, more than 80,000 Azerbaijanis in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, including more than 76,000 in the Kalbajar region, call the international community for support of our country’s fair position to give an objective political and legal assessment,” the community said.
"We demand that all international organizations take effective measures to expose Armenia's policy of aggression. At the same time, the voices of more than one million victims of Armenian aggression should be heard and the criminal actions of Armenians should be condemned at the international level in order to restore our violated rights,” the statement said.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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