Azerbaijani Ombudswoman appeals to int'l community to support demining process
Azerbaijani Ombudswoman Sabina Aliyeva appealed to the international community to take a decisive position regarding the elimination of the existing mine issue and to support the demining process, Azernews reports.
In an appeal dedicated to the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, which is marked annually on April 4, the ombudswoman stressed the importance to bring attention to the areas contaminated with mines.
The statement highlighted that Armenia massively contaminated Azerbaijan’s Karabakh and East Zangazur regions during the occupation, as a result of which civilians and servicemen were victims of the mine terrorism.
Besides, she highlighted that Armenia not only avoided providing accurate maps of landmines buried in Azerbaijan’s territories but also continued contaminating the areas through sabotage groups.
This way, she stressed that during the period after the Patriotic War, 289 citizens became victims of mines and other explosive devices, 51 of whom were killed and 238 received injuries.
“In general, since 1991 until today, as a result of mine explosions, 3368 people, including 357 children and 38 women, have been killed or have got injuries. The current mine problem, which causes numerous human losses, serious injuries and disability, is seriously hindering large-scale construction, building, and restoration works, as well as the peace in our liberated territories,” the statement pointed out.
Furthermore, the statement emphasized the importance of demining the territories and restoring the destroyed infrastructure in order to ensure the safe return of former internally displaced persons.
“Armenia violated the norms and principles of international humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva Conventions relating to the Protection of Victims of War dated 12 August 1949 and Additional Protocol I, by contaminating our liberated areas with mines, and by officially declaring this, it demonstrated open disrespect to the international community,” Aliyeva stressed.
She then emphasized the importance of the world community to unite in the struggle against mine terrorism for the sake of protecting the rights to life, to live in safety, and the right to health of human beings.
“In this regard, in our statements and appeals addressed to international and regional organizations working in the field of human rights, and different national human rights institutions, as well as in our special reports, we provided facts on the mine problem in the liberated areas and urged them to take urgent measures within their mandates. Unfortunately, the international community has not expressed concern about the threat of mines created by Armenia against Azerbaijan and has not shown any interest in taking effective measures in this regard,” the appeal finalized.
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