Islamabad/ Pakistan; 10 Oct 2020 – A temporary ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan has begun following nearly two weeks of fierce fighting in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. However, each side has since accused the other of breaking the agreement. The truce aims to enable an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of bodies.But reports are pouring in that the violation of ceasefire is being observed just after it came into effect.
The Guardian reports with reference to Associated Press from Moscow that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a Russia-brokered ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting on Saturday, midday (8am GMT).
More attacks have been reported soon after the ceasefire announcement. Azerbaijan has blamed that Armenia is not observing the ceasefire.
If the truce holds, it would mark a major diplomatic coup for Russia, which has a security pact with Armenia but also cultivated warm ties withAzerbaijan. But the agreement was immediately challenged by mutual claims of violations.
Minutes after the truce took force, the Armenian military accused Azerbaijan of shelling the area near the town of Kapan in southeastern Armenia, killing one civilian. Azerbaijan’s defence ministry rejected the Armenian accusations as a “provocation”.
The Azerbaijani military, in turn, accused Armenia of striking the Terter and Agdam regions of Azerbaijan with missiles and then attempting to launch offensives in the Agdere-Terter and the Fizuli-Jabrail areas. Azerbaijan’s foreign minister, Jeyhun Bayramov, charged that “conditions for implementing the humanitarian ceasefire are currently missing” amid the continuing Armenian shelling.
Armenia’s defence ministry denied any truce violations by the Armenian forces.
The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began on 27 September and left hundreds of people dead in the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since a separatist war there ended in 1994. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia.
The ceasefire announcement came overnight after 10 hours of talks in Moscow sponsored by Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. The deal stipulated that the ceasefire should pave the way for talks on settling the conflict.
Pakistan has welcomed the ceasefire. Statement from Foreign Ministry of Pakistan reads that stable peace can be maintained only when a just solution to the dispute is reached in accordance with UN resolutions.
It is worth mentioning that Armenia has occupied Nagorno Karabakh region that is actually part of Azerbaijan.