Azerbaijanis complain to OSCE over inefficacy in resolving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
By Sara Rajabova
The OSCE representatives who visited Azerbaijan’s Gazakh region for the latest monitoring mission on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops were forced to listen to the complaints of local residents who experience great hardships due to Armenian aggression.
At a time when the Armenian armed forces escalate tensions on the contact line with endless fire, the OSCE sent a monitoring mission to observe troops on the frontline on August 25 in accordance with the mandate of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.
Jiri Aberle and Peter Svedberg, the field assistants to the OSCE Chairman’s Personal Representative, conducted the monitoring on the Azerbaijani side. On the opposite side of the contact line, monitoring was conducted by field assistants Simon Tiller and Yevgeny Sharov.
Despite the recent round of skirmishes, monitoring took place without revealing any incidents along the frontline.
After their observation, the OSCE representatives met with residents of the villages in Azerbaijan’s Gazakh region located near the frontline.
Residents complained to OSCE representatives of regular violations of ceasefire by Armenians, saying that their lives are under threat due to the shelling of villages.
Due to frequent ceasefire violations by the Armenian armed forces, the residents of the Azerbaijani villages located near the frontline have gone through great difficulties, and the constant shelling of their homes has hampered their daily life.
The residents of these villages earn their livelihoods by farming, however, ceasefire violations make it impossible for them to work on their lands, take their cattle for grazing, as well as use water from rivers originating in Armenia.
Moreover, the Armenian armed forces frequently wound the villagers in their homes or on their farms.
During a meeting with OSCE representatives, the residents also complained that the activities of the international mediators to resolve the conflict have not yielded any results.
“The monitoring missions don’t bring results each time. The patience of the people is already on edge. Our lands are under the occupation of the enemy for over 20 years. A number of international organizations demonstrate double standards towards Azerbaijan. Armenia's aggressive policy must end and the violated rights of more than one million internally displaced persons should be restored. The world community, international organizations, taking a fair position, should condemn the occupant,” the residents said.
The OSCE representatives also visited Mezem village resident Sharif Rahimov’s house to verify what local residents told them. They discovered many traces of bullet holes on the walls and even on the iron gates of the house.
The OSCE monitoring mission came as the Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire regime with Azerbaijan over 160-170 times in recent days.
Violating the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan on August 22, the Armenian military fired at Azerbaijani positions in the direction of Aghdam and Khojavand on the frontline using the 60 mm and 82 mm caliber rocket-propelled grenades and large-caliber machine guns.
The Azerbaijani defense ministry said although the Armenian side again attempted to hide its losses from the public, 5 enemy soldiers were killed and 8 were injured.
The situation on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops remains tense despite a ceasefire agreement that the sides signed in 1994. The Armenian army violates the armistice from almost all directions, consistently firing on Azerbaijani positions.
Armenia continues provocations against Azerbaijan and keeps the residents of the border and frontline settlements under the constant fear using the situation of impunity.
This occupant country remains unpunished for the crimes that it committed against the Azerbaijani people.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. Since the war, the Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.
Armenia continues the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal of armed forces.
Peace talks brokered by mediators from Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far.