Potential Genocide In Azerbaijan
“Can we create a 21st century with no genocide?” This is the question arising in Azerbaijan. Many ethnic Armenians live in the country. A former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) claims that ethnic Armenians are facing genocide. Nagorno-Karabakh is a region in Azerbaijan that is predominantly Armenian, even has its own government, and is closely linked to Armenia. The area is in desperate need of food, medicines, drinking water, and other essentials, but Azerbaijan has blockaded the region even though trucks are loaded up to enter the area with the much needed supplies.
Former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo claims that the situation is an ongoing genocide. He reported, “Starvation is the invisible weapon. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks.” He is pleading with the international community to step in and help, including the U.S. Ocampo feels so strongly about this dire situation that he added, “If there is no such agreement (other nations step in to resolve the conflict), the problem is now that it’s clear that the U.S will be an accomplice of genocide.”
What is behind all of this conflict? There have been hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed area – Nagorno-Karabakh – for years. An earlier agreement supposedly guaranteed free movement in and out of the area, but now Azerbaijan has blockaded the area claiming that the International Committee of the Red Cross used vehicles for “smuggling” undeclared goods. Ocampo stated that he believed that the U.S., Russia, and the European Union could immediately stop this, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has complicated the issue. The ICC has ordered an end to the blockade. Will the affected nations uphold the order?