Since September 27th 2020, two countries have been battling it out for supremacy over a disputed site. The countries in question include Armenia and Azerbaijan and the dispute is related to that of region called as Nagorno-Karabakh. So, what exactly is the conflict and why exactly has an old dispute resurfaced all over again? How are the world super powers react to this?
Nagorno-Karabakh comes under the geographical jurisdiction of Azerbaijan but is administrated by groups from Armenia. A closer look on the map shows Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave inside Azerbaijan
The current conflict began after Azerbaijan reportedly initiated an attack on civilians areas in Nagorno-Karabakh including the capital city of Stepanakert. Armenia claims it was forced to retaliate in order to protect civilians living in the area. In the following days, both sides claim to have made significant damage to the order side, with multiple narratives presenting a polarising picture of the ground reality.
It is estimated that over 300 people may have lost their lives in this conflict and nearly 75,000 may have been displaced ever since. While claiming that Azerbaijani forces and civilians lost their lives, Armenian President declared ‘Martial Law’ also warned against the intimidation tactics used by Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan on the other hand has vowed to defend its territorial integrity and has the support of Turkey who has historical been at loggerheads with Armenia for several decades now.
The history of divide and rule
This face off comes at a time when both countries have for long been embroiled in a territorial dispute over the region.
The problem stems from 1920s when Josef Stalin made the region a part of Azerbaijan despite Armenians living in majority. It is also important to note that most Armenians follow the faith of Christianity while majority residents of Azerbaijan are Muslims.
In 1988, when Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, the issue resurfaced. Nagorno-Karabakh legislature passed a resolution that they wanted to join Armenia.
Three years later it declared independence sparking a war between two countries. The war claimed 30,000 lives and played out for 3 years, it ended after Russia intervened and brokered peace.
This time around too a ceasefire was negotiated by Russia on October 10, but it was short-lived and both sides again blamed each other of violating the ceasefire norms.
India keeps a close watch
Conflicts can have long standing impact on global international affairs & India is keeping a close eye as things unfold at a dramatic pace.
The use of drones in this face-off has sparked a conversation over the future of warfare & reports have emerged that India is in close talks with America to acquire 20 MQ9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for nearly $3 billion, if the deal is signed then this could be India’s most expensive deal for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
The conflict has surfaced at a time when the world is reeling under the pandemic and several super powers have refused to interfere in the situation. It will be important to see if United Nations steps in or continues to remain a mute spectator to this crisis.