Azerbaijan: Int’l Tribunal Needed For Khojaly Genocide
There is a need to create an international tribunal and apply legal mechanisms in order to have a legal and political assessment given to the Khojaly genocide and the criminals brought to justice, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov told reporters in Baku Feb. 26, APA reported.
“It’s essential that a tribunal or some legal mechanisms consisting of prominent lawyers be created in order to bring to justice those responsible for the grave crime against humanity which was committed in the late twentieth century,” added Khalafov.
He noted that the perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide are in power of Armenia’s military regime.
The deputy minister called on every Azerbaijani citizen to carry out the work for the world to recognize the Khojaly genocide and punish its perpetrators.
“Investigation will be further carried out in this direction,” he said. “It is necessary to make efforts for the international community to give political and legal assessment to the Khojaly genocide so that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. Cooperation with international organizations is very important for that,” he added.
On February 25-26, 1992, Armenia’s armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.
As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed as a result of the massacre. A total of 1,000 civilians became disabled in the onslaught. Eight families were completely annihilated, 130 children lost one parent, while 25 lost both parents. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people (68 women, 26 children) still remains unknown.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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