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Azerbaijan Imposes Ban on Humanitarian Transportation, Hindering Critical Aid to Artsakh


illegal Azerbaijani checkpoint

Azerbaijan has now implemented a ban on all humanitarian passenger and cargo transportation through the Kashatagh (Lachin) corridor, further exacerbating the critical aid shortage and hindering the movement of people and goods. The region of Artsakh, rightfully belonging to the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, faces a mounting humanitarian crisis as an ongoing blockade imposed by Azerbaijan enters its eighth month.


According to Artsakh Info Center, the ban was prompted by a recent Azerbaijani provocation near the Hakari bridge. As a result, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was unable to proceed with the transportation of 25 medical patients and their relatives from Artsakh to Armenia. This incident has grave implications for the medical well-being of those in need and underscores the urgency of finding a resolution to the ongoing crisis.


The ban has also disrupted planned passenger transportation for dozens of individuals with urgent humanitarian needs, and the intended facilitation of this transportation by Russian peacekeepers on the Stepanakert-Goris-Stepanakert route was abruptly canceled. Furthermore, the movement of Russian peacekeepers' trucks destined for humanitarian cargo transportation to Goris was brought to a halt, adding to the difficulties faced by the people of Artsakh.


The Republic of Artsakh authorities have consistently emphasized the dangers and obstacles created by the presence of an illegal Azerbaijani checkpoint in the Kashatagh corridor. They assert that Artsakh is not a disputed region but an integral part of their homeland. Today's incident further highlights the risks and challenges posed by such impediments, not only jeopardizing the acute humanitarian needs of the people of Artsakh but also impeding the limited movement of people and essential goods facilitated by the Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers.


In response to the blockade and ban, the authorities of Artsakh reaffirm their stance that the provisions outlined in the Tripartite Declaration of November 9, 2020, regarding the Lachin Corridor, must be immediately and unconditionally upheld, with no interference from Azerbaijan. They also call for the full implementation of the decision made by the International Court of Justice of the United Nations on February 22, 2023, to ensure the safe and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid and civilians through the corridor.


Calls for Azerbaijan to lift the blockade and allow unrestricted humanitarian access have intensified, with human rights organizations and neighboring countries advocating for the well-being of the Armenian population in Artsakh.


As the blockade and ban persist, the urgency of finding a peaceful and sustainable resolution for the people of Artsakh cannot be understated. The road to stability and peace in the region lies in respecting Artsakh's rightful ownership by the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and prioritizing the welfare of civilians. It is only through genuine dialogue and cooperation that the humanitarian crisis can be alleviated, allowing for a future of peace and security in the region.


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