Azerbaijan v. Armenia: Hearings start at the International Court of Justice

Foto: By robert paul van beets

Baku asks the court to block Yerevan’s attempts

On January 31, open hearings on the case of Azerbaijan against Armenia were held at the International Court of Justice. Azerbaijan made the application on January 4 this year.

The case is related to the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The hearings were held to determine additional temporary measures.

The information was released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan (MFA) .

He noted that the hearings were organized “in order to take urgent measures to prevent the increasing losses as a result of the deliberate placement of mines and explosive traps by the Armenian armed forces in the civilian areas of Azerbaijan.”

Armenia also began a procedure against Azerbaijan, which will start its hearing also this week.

Official Baku reports that after the end of the conflict in 2020, 282 citizens of Azerbaijan fell into landmines and about 40 people were killed.

Azerbaijan claims that even after November 2020, the placement of mines in its territory continued.

“…This has prevented the families and communities of internally displaced persons from returning to their homes,” the Azerbaijani MFA emphasizes.

According to information, Azerbaijan has asked the court to issue an instruction to Armenia to immediately stop and refuse such further steps.

On September 27, 2020, an armed conflict broke out between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The 2020 war ended on November 10 of that year with a tripartite declaration (signed between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia).

Some time after the signing of the statement, the Azerbaijani officials accused the Armenian side of not giving them the maps of the mined areas. However, it was announced that mine maps of some regions, which were released in exchange for the return of a group of Armenian soldiers detained in Azerbaijan, were obtained.

After some time, the President of Azerbaijan expressed his displeasure that those maps do not reflect reality to a large extent.

In response, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said: “We gave the maps we have to Azerbaijan.”

“We kept the good and did not give the bad quality,” said the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that Azerbaijan’s appeal contains evidence that contradicts the information provided by Armenia to the International Court of Justice in October 2021.

The petition contained new evidence confirming that the Armenian army continued to place mines on the territory of Azerbaijan, even after the agreement on the cessation of all hostilities in accordance with the Tripartite Statement in November 2020:

“Since August 2022, more than 2700 2021 Armenian-made mines have been discovered in Azerbaijan. Armenia’s behavior is a gross violation of its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other international laws.

Azerbaijan claims that 1,600 of these illegally imported landmines were buried in civilian areas where Azerbaijanis were expelled 30 years ago as a result of Armenia’s ethnic cleansing campaign and illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territories. As a result, IDP families and communities were prevented from returning to their homes.”

The Karabakh conflict, which began in 1988, led to fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

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