By Sara Rajabova
The Khojaly genocide committed by the Armenian vandals in early 1990's continues to gain international recognition.
The 40th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted a resolution recognizing the Khojaly massacre as genocide.
The session of the CFM was held in Conakry on December 9.
The resolution was introduced by the OIC Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation on the activity of the organization - a move reaffirming the CFM`s position on recognizing the Khojaly tragedy as a genocide.
In 1992, the town of Khojaly, situated within the administrative borders of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, came under intensive fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by the Armenian armed forces.
Supported by the ex-Soviet 366th regiment, the Armenian forces completely surrounded the town which was already isolated due to the ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani population of the neighboring regions. The joint forces occupied the town, which was destroyed by heavy artillery shelling.
Thousands of fleeing civilians were ambushed by the Armenian forces. Punitive teams of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh defense army reached the unprotected civilians, slaughtered them, and even mutilated some of the bodies. 613 civilians, including 106 women, 70 elderlies, and 83 children, were killed in the massacre, and a total of 1,000 civilians were disabled.
Eight families were exterminated, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one parent. 1,275 innocent people were also taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.
Head of the OIC Youth Forum`s delegation to the session Elmaddin Mehdiyev said the resolution has a special article dealing with the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign implemented by Forum and initiated by the OIC Youth Forum general coordinator Leyla Aliyeva.
Under the article, the CFM welcomes the campaign's activities and calls on member countries to take an active part in the campaign at a national and international level for the recognition of the Khojaly genocide as an outrage against humanity.
Mehdiyev added that thanks to the activity of the campaign organizers, the OIC Parliamentary Union recognized the Khojaly tragedy as an outrage against humanity and an act of genocide last year.
The CFM also recognized the tragedy as genocide at one of its sessions held in November 2012 in Djibouti. The Khojaly tragedy was recognized as an outrage against humanity and an act of genocide by the OIC summit of Heads of State in February.
The "Justice for Khojaly" International Awareness Campaign was initiated in 2009 by Leyla Aliyeva, General Coordinator of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation.
The Campaign is aimed at raising international civil awareness through demonstration of creative photos and images of suffered people in the Karabakh conflict and in particular Khojaly massacre, as well as reaching out globally via media, Internet and live events.
The Campaign is also aimed at raising awareness on grave situation of oppressed people (due to total ethnic cleansing only Armenians are allowed to remain at the mentioned territories) under the military regime of occupation forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and on necessity for promotion of liberation of this ancient cradle of civilization. It also calls on the global community to remove the root cause of the conflict.
Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by US, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.