By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) Sabina Aliyeva has called on relevant international organizations to condemn Armenia for not disclosing the maps of land mines it had planted on Azerbaijani territories during the 30-year occupation.
Aliyeva made the remarks in a video message made on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on April 4.
She noted that states continue their efforts with the UN and other relevant organizations in order to establish mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war cause a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of civilians.
“In my capacity as the Commissioner for Human Rights, I express my deep concern that today the Azerbaijani civilians and military servants face serious threats to their lives and health due to the unmarked landmines planted by Armenia in the territories of Azerbaijan during the period of their occupation,” the rights commissioner said.
She underlined that despite the fact that Armenia is repeatedly called to disclose the landmine maps, still, it has never displayed any will to cooperate in this regard.
Aliyeva noted the trilateral statement by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on November 10, 2020, that put an end to all military activities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“Now, it is time to provide a safe and peaceful environment in the liberated lands for all and Azerbaijan makes considerable and decisive efforts in this field. However, almost one million IDPs still cannot return to their homes because of the landmines planted in those large areas,” the statement reads.
It was noted that 20 Azerbaijani citizens, including 12 civilians, have been killed, also 85 citizens, including 17 civilians, have been seriously injured due to mine explosions in the newly-liberated lands.
Aliyeva stressed that the mines were planted particularly in the residential areas, near the rivers, crossroads and cemeteries which is a blatant violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I.
“We still expect that the Armenian state will unconditionally fulfil its responsibilities for neutralization of the landmines and make efforts for ensuring durable peace in the region, and respect for human rights,” the rights commissioner emphasized.
“Reiterating the concern on unmarked landmines and their potential threats to human life, we once again call on all relevant international organizations to condemn Armenia for not disclosing the maps of the land mines and to take relevant actions in this regard,” the ombudsman added.
The United Nations has declared April 4 as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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