Armenian mines in Karabakh - obstacle to peace in South Caucasus
    The Jerusalem Post article

    KARABAKH  10 June 2024 - 17:02

    Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post published an article highlighting the mine threat persisting in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Caliber.Az reprints the piece.

    Unfortunately, due to the presence of land mines throughout the Karabakh region, peace remains an elusive dream for many Azerbaijanis.

    Speaking at the Third International Conference on Mine Action: Mitigating Environmental Impact of Landmines, Vahijd Hajiyev, Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, declared that the presence of land mines has not only harmed the environment in Karabakh; it has prevented the development of tourism, agriculture, and other industries in the war-torn region.

    Hikmet Hajiyev, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration, delivered a speech on behalf of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, proclaiming that land mines adversely affect the soil. “They also affect climate change. Azerbaijan is one of the most mine-polluted countries in the world, with more than 1.5 million land mines and an unknown number of unexploded ordinances. Since the First Karabakh War, more than 3,000 of our citizens have fallen victim to land mine explosions, where they were either killed or injured. These casualties occurred due to the Armenians’ refusal to provide Azerbaijan with accurate mapping of the land mines,” he said.

    Samir Poladov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency (ANAMA), stated that one of the reasons this issue is so acute is because Karabakh is a huge area that is covered in land mines. “This has impeded the reconstruction plans of the government,” he said. “A year ago, Zangilan was a waste land.” Now, Zangilan has a hotel, a convention center, a school, and a small green village. However, he noted that Zangilan is the exception, and there are still many areas of Karabakh that remain undeveloped due to the existence of land mines.

    Poladov added, “Our goal now is to bring life back to those territories. Dealing with this challenge will take several decades, since there are still many mines. One of our major problems is the lack of reliable information on the location of those mine fields. The information coming from the Armenian side is very limited and not reliable. We also have found land mines in areas where we did not even expect to find them.”

    According to Poladov, “Every square kilometer in Karabakh is potentially dangerous. We have no choice but take that into consideration due to the terrible accidents that have occurred over the past three years.”

    A region rife with dangerous land mines

    Emil Hasanov, deputy chairman of the Public Council under ANAMA, said, “Azerbaijan is a country between East and West. What happens here impacts other countries. The environmental damage impacts the whole region. Azerbaijan has been influential in the South Caucasus since the collapse of the Soviet Union. What happened will affect us for the next 50 or 60 years. In the Balkans, we still feel the impact of those wars.” He believes that Karabakh will be in a similar situation even if a peace agreement is signed with Armenia.

    One should not forget that one of the reasons that Azerbaijan launched a counterterror operation is because Armenian separatist Ruben Vardanyan, who is currently incarcerated in a Baku prison, financed Armenian armed groups that stood behind two terror attacks where the Armenians planted land mines on the roads. Four employees of the Azerbaijani Interior Ministry lost their lives in one of the terror attacks: Jamalzade Asim (30), Shirinov Ramil (37), Mahmudov Seymur (33), and Zamanov Khazar (26). Azerbaijan has accused former Artsakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan of “financing terrorism,” “creating and participating in illegal armed organizations,” and “illegally crossing the Azerbaijani state border.”

    Indeed, not all of the land mines that contaminate Karabakh date from the period when Armenia illegally controlled the region in violation of four UN Security Council resolutions. Some of the land mines in the Karabakh region were placed there during the reign of separatist ruler Ruben Vardanyan, thus hindering Azerbaijan’s efforts to revitalize the region. Therefore, the Azerbaijanis cannot consider releasing Vardanyan from prison.

    Due to this land mine issue, many Azerbaijanis do not believe that peace is attainable until Armenia reveals all of the locations of land mines. Without these maps, reconstruction could take decades, and this poisons the atmosphere, making it harder to achieve peace between the two countries even if Armenia’s prime minister is willing to give up all of his territorial claims in Karabakh.

    Every land mine victim has a story. Tamam Jafarova, an Azerbaijani land mine survivor, was gravely injured while chasing a cow in the wartorn Karabakh region. As a result, she has a prosthetic leg. Her story is only one of countless others. Land mine victims cannot forgive Vardanyan for financing groups that planted more of them in Karabakh instead of permitting the war to end. For the sake of a durable and lasting peace in the South Caucasus, Armenia must hand over the land mine maps so that there will be no more victims. Until then, Biden’s dream of peace in the region remains elusive.


    Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Read also

Azerbaijan, UN focus on mine threat in liberated lands PHOTO

24 July 2024 - 15:08

Hundreds of foreign companies seek participation in Karabakh projects

23 July 2024 - 15:58

Azerbaijan clears over 1,600 ha of mines, explosive ordnance in liberated lands Weekly data

22 July 2024 - 15:59

Top official: Shusha's true residents returned after 30 years of longing VIDEO

20 July 2024 - 12:39

Foreign guests arrive in Azerbaijan's Fuzuli to participate in 2nd Shusha Global Media Forum

20 July 2024 - 13:11

Azerbaijan seizes large cache of Armenian weapons in Khankendi PHOTO

20 July 2024 - 10:59
Latest news

    US should prioritize Iran negotiations to prevent Israel-Hezbollah war

    Analysis by Foreign Policy

    25 July 2024 - 03:10

    How US semiconductor restrictions may backfire?

    25 July 2024 - 01:06

    Barack Obama's silence on Kamala Harris

    Analyzing the strategic move

    24 July 2024 - 23:04

    US troop withdrawal from Niger to wrap up by early August

    24 July 2024 - 21:10

    US to invest $101 million in Pakistan to strengthen democracy

    24 July 2024 - 20:58

    UN rep: COP29 to play crucial role in maintaining global focus on climate issues

    24 July 2024 - 20:46

    Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan strengthen ties with new agreements


    24 July 2024 - 20:34

    CIS observers review preparation for snap parliamentary election in Azerbaijan


    24 July 2024 - 20:22

    Türkiye to assemble KAAN combat aircraft prototypes in 2025

    24 July 2024 - 20:10

    US ex-president commits to multiple debates with VP

    24 July 2024 - 19:58

    Saurya Airlines aircraft crash leaves 18 dead in Nepal


    24 July 2024 - 19:46

    Germany announces date for Bundestag elections

    24 July 2024 - 19:34

    Media: Ex-Iranian President survives alleged assassination attempt

    24 July 2024 - 19:22

    Western protectionism vs Chinese green tech imports

    Caliber.Az on YouTube

    24 July 2024 - 19:10

    Turkish intelligence operation in Iraq targets key PKK/KCK figures

    24 July 2024 - 18:58

    2024 Summer Olympics begin in France with rugby, football matches

    24 July 2024 - 18:46

    YouTube removes Armenian singers’ songs plagiarizing Azerbaijani compositions

    24 July 2024 - 18:34

    Iran criticizes US, UK, France for silence on Israeli airstrikes

    24 July 2024 - 18:21

    Azerbaijani, Uzbek oil companies establish joint master's degree programme

    24 July 2024 - 18:08

    Azerbaijani, Israeli top diplomats mull bilateral relations, regional issues

    24 July 2024 - 17:56

    Azerbaijani presidential aide hosts outgoing Polish ambassador for farewell meeting

    24 July 2024 - 17:44

    Israel Defense Forces continues ground operation in Gaza Strip


    24 July 2024 - 17:32

    Baku's big green leap: President Ilham Aliyev’s vision in anticipation of COP29

    Article by Dispatch News Desk

    24 July 2024 - 17:23

    Russia awaits further details on Ukraine’s negotiation readiness

    24 July 2024 - 17:20

    Armed сlash on Azerbaijan-Iran border leaves guards, intruder injured


    24 July 2024 - 17:08

    Scholz announces bid for re-election as German chancellor

    24 July 2024 - 16:56

    Israeli former defence minister warns about Iran’s largest drills in Syria

    24 July 2024 - 16:44

    Iran detains ISIL terrorists in major operation

    24 July 2024 - 16:32

    Ukrainian drone strike on Russian ammo depot to exacerbate strained logistics chains

    Defence Intelligence report

    24 July 2024 - 16:20

    Türkiye set to transform into global high-tech hub

    24 July 2024 - 16:08

    Azerbaijani MFA expresses condolences to Ethiopia following tragic landslides

    24 July 2024 - 15:56

    Biden bows out, intrigue persists

    Democratic drama

    24 July 2024 - 15:44

    EU ambassadors approve another financial aid to Ukraine

    24 July 2024 - 15:32

    FM Szijjarto asserts Hungary's dependence on Russian oil via Ukraine

    24 July 2024 - 15:20

    Azerbaijan affirms readiness for talks with Armenia in Russia

    24 July 2024 - 15:17

    Azerbaijan, UN focus on mine threat in liberated lands


    24 July 2024 - 15:08

    Palestinian unity deal: Illusion or path to peace?

    A day after

    24 July 2024 - 14:56

    Georgian PM links attack on ruling party founder to recent Fico, Trump incidents

    24 July 2024 - 14:44

    Russia slams EU's aid to Armenia as maneuver to destabilise South Caucasus

    24 July 2024 - 14:32

    President Ilham Aliyev reviews progress on Baku's Victory Park construction


    24 July 2024 - 14:22

All news