Statement: First Anniversary of the Four-Day War

Monday, 10 April 2017 STATEMENT


On the 2nd of April 2016 the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, by unleashing the entire power of their multibillion dollar arsenal, attempted an invasion of the Artsakh Republic. An all-out attack along virtually the entire Artsakh-Azerbaijan line of contact aimed to have Azeri forces marching into Stepanakert in a blitzkrieg-style operation. 

While Azerbaijan had instigated border clashes in the past, the attack in the early hours of April 2, constituted the single largest cease-fire violation since the cessation of conflict in 1994. 

Joined by Turkish Army advisers and thousands of Islamist fighters, the Azeri attacking forces committed heinous acts of barbarism on the innocent civilian populations of the villages of Talish and Madaghis. The Artsakh Defence Army personnel were also subjected to summary executions, beheadings and mutilations, all in clear violation of the Geneva Convention and international law.  

While the Artsakh Republic Defence Army prevailed over Azerbaijan and successfully repelled the encroachment, this came at a high cost; taking the lives of 9 innocent civilians, and 92 brave young soldiers defending our Republic. 

The Armenian nation was yet again reminded that against all odds, the liberation of Armenian territories and the independence of Artsakh in 1991 was undertaken to stop yet again, the extermination of the indigenous Armenian people on their ancestral homeland.  The wounds of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 have not yet healed. The loss of the Armenian lands of Western Armenia and Nakhijevan and the pogroms of Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad have not faded from Armenian memories. Azerbaijan continues to pose an existential threat to the Armenian population of Artsakh. 

The international indifference towards the fate of the people of Artsakh has and continues to encourage Azerbaijan in its blatant acts of aggression in the pursuit of a military resolution to the Artsakh-Azerbaijan conflict. 

To ensure the security of the peaceful and democratic people of Artsakh, we call upon the Australian Federal and State parliaments and all free and democratic countries around the world, to reaffirm their commitment to human rights and international law by condemning the aggressive and inhumane acts perpetrated by Azerbaijan against the people of the Artsakh Republic. 

We urge world leaders to call on the leadership of Azerbaijan to observe the terms of the 1994 tri-lateral Bishkek ceasefire and implement immediately measures agreed to by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Vienna and St Petersburg in 2016. The Office of the Artsakh Republic in Australia also calls on all compatriots in Australia, the Diaspora and Armenia to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Artsakh, and to ensure the memory of their ongoing sacrifice for the right of the Armenian people to live in peace and free from persecution is never forgotten.