Haut-Karabakh : l’Azerbaïdjan annonce lancer une opération militaire dans la région disputée ; Erevan dénonce une volonté d’« entraîner l’Arménie dans les hostilités »

La télévision publique du Haut-Karabakh a diffusé des images de civils fuyant des explosions et des tirs, dans une rue de Stepanakert, le 19 septembre.

On Tuesday, September 19, Azerbaijan announced that it had launched a military operation described as “anti-terrorist” against the “Armenian forces” in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Explosions were heard by a journalist from Agence France-Presse in the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert. The defender of human rights in the separatist region, Gegham Stepanyan, reported a provisional human toll of two civilians killed and twenty-three injured.

The Armenian separatist authorities have confirmed a large-scale military operation against the Republic of Artsakh [the name given by Armenians to Nagorno-Karabakh]. Stepanakert, and other cities in the region, are being targeted by intense gunfire, added the separatist representation in Armenia on Facebook.

“I cannot reword”

“I cannot reword”

« Fausses déclarations »

The separatist forces of the Haut-Karabakh region have stated that they are trying to “resist” the advancing Azerbaijani army in the enclave. They said, “The Azerbaijani armed forces are attempting to advance further (…) The defense forces continue to resist Azerbaijan’s offensive along the entire contact line,” on X (formerly known as Twitter).

The authorities in Baku stated that they considered peace possible, on the condition of a “complete” Armenian withdrawal. The Azerbaijani diplomacy declared in a statement that “the only way to achieve peace (…) is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of Armenian armed forces (…) and the dissolution of the so-called separatist regime.” The Armenian Ministry of Defense, on the other hand, assured that they did not have any armed forces deployed in the region and condemned Baku’s “false statements.”

La Russie a appelé l’Azerbaïdjan et l’Arménie à « mettre fin à l’effusion de sang » dans le Haut-Karabakh et à retourner à « un règlement pacifique ». « Toutes les étapes d’une solution pacifique sont énoncées dans les accords signés en 2020 et 2022 », a ajouté la porte-parole de la diplomatie russe, Maria Zakharova.

La France a condamné mardi « avec la plus grande fermeté » le lancement par l’Azerbaïdjan d’une opération militaire dans le Haut-Karabakh et demandé « la convocation d’urgence d’une réunion du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies ».

“I cannot reword”

“I cannot reword”

Dans la nuit de lundi à mardi, les autorités azerbaïdjanaises avaient annoncé la mort de quatre policiers et de deux civils azerbaïdjanais dans l’explosion de mines dans le Haut-Karabakh, et avaient accusé un groupe de « saboteurs » séparatistes arméniens d’avoir commis ces actes de « terrorisme ».

At the beginning of August, Armenia requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UN) due to the worsening humanitarian situation in the region. The Lachin corridor, the only land link between Armenia and Karabakh, was initially obstructed by Azerbaijanis claiming to be environmental protesters, before Baku established a roadblock on July 11 at the entrance of this route, citing security reasons.

During the UN Security Council meeting held on August 16, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States urged Baku to ensure free movement on the Lachin road, but no statement or resolution was voted upon at the end of the meeting – a partial failure for the Armenians. The Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian mountainous region located in Azerbaijan, witnessed two wars in the early 1990s and in the autumn of 2020. It is one of the most heavily mined areas in the former USSR, with regular incidents causing casualties.

Le Monde avec AFP