Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan re-escalates over the Nagorno-Karabakh region

Armenia and Azerbaijan have each been fighting wars for control over the Nagorno-Karabakh region since the late 1980s and early 1990s. As of September 27, 2020, the conflict began once again. 

The region of Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan. The recurring issue is that most of the population there is Armenian. Additionally, the differences between Armenian Christians and Muslim Azerbaijanis play a role in why people in Azerbaijan do not want to become part of Armenia. For many continuous years, both the Christian and Muslim populations have wanted control over the Caucasus mountain region in Southeast Europe. Many Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh had suggested being transferred to the Armenian officials but those against this idea in the area disagreed.

As the Soviet Union began to collapse, they saw this increasing tension between both Armenia and Azerbaijan, so Nagorno-Karabakh’s regional parliament decided to vote on which country the region would become a part of. The Soviet Union voted that Nagorno-Karabakh was to officially become part of Armenia in the late 1980s. This resulted in the Nagorno-Karabakh War in which tens of thousands of people died and up to a million were displaced, most of which were Azerbaijanis. This war ended in a ceasefire in 1994. Ever since then, Nagorno-Karabakh has remained a part of Azerbaijan but is still heavily controlled by the Armenian government. Armenia and Azerbaijan have not been able to resolve this issue, such as with a peace treaty or other compromise.

Over the last three decades, many skirmishes have occurred, such as in 2016 where dozens of troops from both sides died. Now, the people living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have become more involved as the issue grows larger between both countries. They have been protesting for this issue to be resolved. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, set up in 1992 and run by France, Russia and the United States, have been discussing a solution yet nothing has been confirmed or signed. However, in 2019, both countries released a statement saying they shall begin “taking concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace.”

Recently, increasing tensions between both Armenia and Azerbaijan have caused many injuries and deaths. The most recent violence has killed more than 750 Armenian soldiers and more than 50 civilians. Azerbaijan has not stated its most recent casualties. As of now, no change seems to be happening.