Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
Senator Chris Back, during his speech in Australia’s Parliament, drew special attention to the Khojaly massacre, committed by Armenians against Azerbaijani civilians.
“In two weeks time the people of Azerbaijan will remember the 25th anniversary of what has been one of the more bloody events in their country’s history, when more than 600 civilians, including women and children, were killed,” said the Australian senator. “This event took place on 25 and 26 February 1992, when the forces of the Armenian side, with the support of troops of the then-USSR, seized the town, a town of some 23,000 people.”
On February 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed as a result of the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. A total of 487 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.
“This is a humanitarian crisis of the worst form. We know that without successful mediation, ceasefire violations and renewed tensions will continue to threaten to reignite a military conflict in this place, as it will in others, between these countries and in this particular case that will only serve to destabilize the Caucasus region,” Back noted.
“The area is now controlled by Armenia, and obviously ethnic Azerbaijanis believe they should have the opportunity to reside in this place,” he said.
“The deaths that occurred were desperately unfortunate — children, women, elderly people — and people were taken hostage. It behooves all of us through the UN and other agencies to try and stop events of this type,” added the Australian senator.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.