There are voices rightly highlighting relentless focus on geopolitics in the tragedy in + around #Karabakh. Geopolitics is what we can most easily see, and means to most easily simplify complexity + align it with political agendas. But it shouldn't be the main story now. 1/11
We only have intermittent or highly mediated glimpses of what is happening on ground, but clear that a humanitarian catastrophe is happening in NK, with main towns enduring massive destruction + half of the Armenian population – up to 70,000 people – fleeing the territory. 2/11
There have been atrocities reported in Hadrut, evoking comparable, never addressed, atrocities when 3 Armenians were killed in Talish in April 2016. Altogether around 25 civilians on the Armenian side have been reported killed. 3/11
Monday night's missile strikes against Azerbaijan killed 10 Azerbaijani civilians, hitting an ordinary neighborhood in Ganja. Other cities, including Barda, Terter and Beylagan have been bombarded. Around 42 Azerbaijani civilians are reported killed since the conflict began. 4/11
There are 100,000s of vulnerable Azerbaijanis living close to the Line of Contact, many of them forced to flee their homes in 1992-94. 5/11
There is a risk that ethnic cleansing will repeat itself – both nationalities suffered grievously because of this in 1988-94. Military advances by either side have always been associated with the complete cleansing of the other nationality from taken territory. 6/11
The destructiveness of this new war cannot be under-estimated: we all guessing casualties, but it’s reasonable to assume that at least 1200 people have been killed far. That’s 4% of the 30,000 deaths figure often cited for the 6-year conflict 1988-94 – in just 17 days. 7/11
The use of cluster munitions is documented, causing horrific wounds and lingering for years as hard-to-find and expensive-to-disarm unexploded bomblets waiting to maim and ruin more lives in the future. 8/11
A whole new cycle of human rights and humanitarian law violations is unfolding to compound and aggravate the legacies of unaddressed violations of the 1990s, poisoning another generation of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. 9/11
And all this is happening during a global pandemic: Armenia’s new cases doubled over first 2 weeks of war; infections in Azerbaijan are up 80% as reported by Reuters. The ICRC has appealed for another $10 million to help its efforts. 10/11
And winter is already upon the Caucasus, with extreme weather and hardship at the best of times. Armenia and Azerbaijan have already been thrown back years by this war. Stopping it now must be our priority. 11/11
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