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Foreign Ministry issues statement over Azerbaijan's second appeal to ICJ [PHOTO]

1 February 2023 13:27 (UTC+04:00)
Foreign Ministry issues statement over Azerbaijan's second appeal to ICJ [PHOTO]
Rena Murshud
Rena Murshud
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) heard public testimony on January 31, 2023, regarding Azerbaijan's request for the designation of additional provisional measures submitted in the case involving the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) (Azerbaijan v. Armenia), Azernews reports per the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

The Court was requested to take "urgent action needed to stem the mounting casualties" as a result of Armenian forces' continued deliberate planting of landmines and explosive booby traps in civilian areas of Azerbaijan. The hearing followed Azerbaijan's second request for provisional measures, which was submitted on January 4, 2023. Some 282 Azerbaijanis have died as a result of mines or other explosive devices since the conflict in 2020 came to an end. The vast majority of these victims were civilians, including 3 journalists.

The request from Azerbaijan reflects new information showing that, contrary to its claims made to the ICJ in October 2021, Armenia continued to plant landmines on its territory after agreeing to the end of all hostilities under the November 2020 Trilateral Statement. Since August 2022, over 2,700 landmines made in Armenia in 2021 have been found there. Armenia has acted in a way that flagrantly violates its commitments under the CERD and other international laws.

Due to Armenia's campaign of ethnic cleansing and illegal occupation of Azerbaijan's territory, over 1,600 of these illegal landmines as well as booby traps have been placed in civilian areas where Azerbaijanis were forcibly removed 30 years ago, making it impossible for these displaced families and communities to return to their homes.

Azerbaijan has asked the ICJ to specify the provisional measures that Armenia shall immediately take all necessary measures to enable Azerbaijan to undertake the prompt, safe, and effective demining of the towns, villages, and other areas in the Lachin and Kalbajar districts, as well as other formerly occupied districts of Azerbaijan. This includes providing information about the location, quantity, type, and characteristics of landmines.

Azerbaijan also asked the court to order Armenia to immediately cease and desist from any further efforts, including the use of the Lachin road to lay mines and booby traps in areas where Azerbaijani civilians will return.

Earlier, on 7 December 2021, the Court granted Azerbaijan's first request for interim measures of protection against violations of the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination in force and instructed Armenia to take all necessary measures to prevent incitement of racial hatred directed against Azerbaijanis.

In the meantime, a group of Azerbaijanis picketed the Peace Palace in the Hague, Netherlands, calling for an unbiased position.

The Turkic Culture Association of Azerbaijan in the Netherlands, the Congress of Benelux Azerbaijanis, the Azerbaijan House in the Netherlands, the International Women's Club, the Motherland Union of Azerbaijani Women in Europe, the Coordinating Council of Azerbaijanis in the Netherlands and Belgium, and other activists from the Azerbaijani diaspora gathered outside the Peace Palace to call for a fair position.

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