Armenia must be constructive and share minefield maps with Azerbaijan - Ukrainian expert

Armenia must be constructive and share minefield maps with Azerbaijan - Ukrainian expert

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr.6

By Jani Babayeva - Trend:

Armenia must facilitate the process of demining Azerbaijani territories, including by providing maps of minefields, Ukrainian legal expert, Professor Alexander Merezhko told Trend.

Merezhko made the remark commenting on the mining of the territories by Armenia during their occupation (from 1992 through 2020).

According to Merezhko, international humanitarian law doesn’t completely prohibit the use of mines.

“However, there are a number of conventions prohibiting the use of certain mine types, for example, trap and antipersonnel mines. Unfortunately, not all countries are parties to these conventions,” he stressed.

"Based on the laws and customs of war in general, the use of mines, in any case, should be controlled in order to avoid damage to the lives and health of civilians," the expert said.

He also noted that the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty stipulates that ‘every State Party in a position to do so is under an obligation to assist in mine clearance and related activities.

"In a word, Armenia is obliged to demonstrate a constructive approach, provide maps of minefields in order not to endanger the lives of civilians returning to the liberated territories," added Merezhko.

Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia's PM, and the president of Russia.

A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.

Armenian Armed Forces launched a large-scale military attack on positions of the Azerbaijani army on the front line, using large-caliber weapons, mortars, and artillery on Sept. 27. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-offensive along the entire front.

Back in July 2020, the Armenian Armed Forces violated the ceasefire in the direction of Azerbaijan's Tovuz district. As a result of Azerbaijan's retaliation, the opposing forces were silenced. The fighting continued the following days. Azerbaijan lost a number of military personnel members, who died fighting off the attacks of the Armenian Armed Forces.

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, the 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.

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