28 Soldiers Died in the Past Three Months

“Doctrine” Journalists’ Military Research Center reported.

“Doctrine” Journalists’ Military Research Center (JMRC) reported up to 28 losses in the security and defense sector for the time period of January-April (April 14). Director of the “Doctrine” JMRC, Jasur Sumarinli also mentioned that 35 people were wounded or injured in the past period: “Six people died in combat (from Armenian bullets), three of them due to mine explosions, and 19 were non-combat losses. three people lost their lives in car accidents, one person for unknown reasons, three people due to their non-statutory actions and three people from diseases. Nine people committed suicide (shooting, hanging). Death toll of 25 were officers of the Ministry of Defense and three of the Ministry of Justice.”

As per the wounded and injured ones, head of the center stated that 13 of the accidents were due to the non-statutory actions (including carelessness), three suicide attempts, four from Armenian bullets, eight from mine explosions and six from car accidents, one person was poisoned. Out of the wounded and injured 32 people were military officers of the Ministry of Defense, two served to the State Border Services, and one soldier of the Justice Ministry Penitentiary Service security regimen.

Most of the wounded and injured ones were returned to service.

He also mentioned three wounded civilians from the Armenian bullets and two captivated Armenian civilians. During this period one military servant died in the car accident.

“Doctrine” Journalists’ Military Research Center suggests that unless a complex of arrangements are enforced in the Armed Forces, it won’t be possible to stop these non-combat losses: “The following actions need to be taken to stop the non-combat losses in the military: exact statistics of deaths, the list of names of dead and wounded ones, causes of the deaths should be clearly disclosed to the public. Information on the criminally involved parties in the deaths should also be disclosed to the public. Internal Investigation Department of the Military Prosecutor’s Office and the Defense Ministry should collaborate transparently in solving this matter. Today’s impunity climate only leads to the increase in the number of losses. Therefore, the criminals should be duly punished so that it serves an example to the rest, the public needs to constantly be kept aware; human rights protection in the military units, urgent measures should be taken to ensure the rule of law, military servants should go through a series of training on their rights. Soldiers should be able to notify high-military command on the violence cases they face. It is utterly important to involve officers to a series of special training on human rights and, particularly their relations with soldiers under their supervision. In this case, practices of NATO countries could be used as an example. For the cost saving purposes, online training and courses could be a good start.”

The report further states: “It is necessary to strengthen the social welfare of military personnel to, roughly speaking, ‘stop their dependence on each other.’ In particular, the officers’ salaries and assistance given for rental expenses, currently 49 AZN ($60) should be increased by several times. Today, officers in the rear with lieutenant ranking receive a salary of about 450 AZN ($540). We believe that the minimum wage should start from 1000 AZN ($1,200); state document enforcing Armed Forces transition to the contract based should be drafted. Current system should be gradually replaced with a contractual one. At the same time, significant expansion of civilians’ appointments to the military positions should take place; In general, the country should adopt the strategy of development of the Armed Forces so that military personnel can clearly see what is laid ahead for them in the future. At the present moment, a feeling of distrust in their profession is dominating among military men. It is necessary to overcome this distrust.”

“We believe that implementation of such measures will in the long run result in taking the quality of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces to the next level, and the number of non-combat losses will decrease,” said Mr. Sumaranli.

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