(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 4. Despite
repeated demands, Armenia has not yet provided Azerbaijan with
accurate maps of minefields, Commissioner for Human Rights
(Ombudsman) of Azerbaijan Sabina Aliyeva said in her appeal to the
international community in connection with April 4, International
Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, trend reports.
Azerbaijan has for years been victim to Armenia's
mining its territories. Following the end of the second Karabakh
war in 2020, Azerbaijan started large-scale work on de-mining its
liberated territories, yet the mine threat still remains.
"Regretfully, it must be noted that Armenia did not
only suffice to keep our cities and districts in the Karabakh and
East Zangazur regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan under
occupation for nearly 30 years but also massively contaminated
those areas by mines in order to damage human lives and health,"
said Sabina Aliyeva.
She noted that as a result of the numerous mine
explosions that occurred after the tripartite statement, signed on
November 10, 2020, not only servicemen but also civilians suffered
from mine terrorism.
"The Armenian side not only avoids providing accurate
maps of landmines on our territories but also continues
contaminating our liberated areas with mines through sabotage
groups," she added.
Sabina Aliyeva added that according to the information
of the Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, during the
period after the second Karabakh war, 289 citizens became victims
of mines and other explosive devices, 51 of whom were killed and
238 received injuries. In general, since 1991, as a result of mine
explosions, 3368 people, including 357 children and 38 women, have
been killed or injured.
In March 2023, 270 anti-personnel and 656 anti-tank
landmines, as well as 1,465 units of unexploded ordnance, were
discovered and removed in Tartar, Aghdam, Khojavand, Fuzuli,
Lachin, Khojaly, Shusha, Gubadli, Jabrayil, and Zangilan districts
as part of the de-mining process. A total area of 5,983.6 hectares
has been cleared of mines and unexploded ordnance.
"The current mine problem, which causes numerous human
losses, serious injuries and disability, is seriously hindering
large-scale construction, building and restoration work, as well as
the peace in our liberated territories," said the Ombdusman.
In her appeal to the international community, Sabina
Aliyeva said that to ensure the safe return of Azerbaijani former
internally displaced persons, who had been forced to leave their
ancestral lands as a result of Armenia's ethnic cleansing and
occupation policies carried out for many years, those areas should
be cleared of mines, and the infrastructure, which was completely
destroyed there, should be restored.
The Ombudsman noted that Armenia violated the norms
and principles of international humanitarian law, particularly the
Geneva Conventions relating to the Protection of Victims of War
dated 12 August 1949 and Additional Protocol I, by contaminating
Azerbaijan's liberated areas with mines, and by officially
declaring this, it demonstrated open disrespect to the
"We think that the world community should be united in
the fight against mine terrorism for the sake of protecting the
rights to life, to live in safety, and the right to health of human
beings," Sabina Aliyeva added.
"In this regard, in our statements and appeals, as
well as in our special report, addressed to international and
regional organizations working in the field of human rights, and
different national human rights institutions, we provided facts on
the mine problem in the liberated areas and urged them to take
urgent measures within their mandates," the Ombudsman said in the
Sabina Aliyeva noted that, unfortunately, the
international community has not expressed concern about the threat
of landmines created by Armenia against Azerbaijan until today and
has not shown any interest in taking effective measures in this
"As the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of
the Republic of Azerbaijan, I once again appeal to the
international community to take a decisive position regarding the
elimination of the existing problem and to support the de-mining
process," she said.