Ten-year ceasefire marked in Karabakh conflict

Ten-year ceasefire marked in Karabakh conflict

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 12, 2004, Wednesday

Yerevan/Stepanakert — The Armenian enclave of Nagorny- Karabakh on
Wednesday marked a shaky ten-year ceasefire in its unresolved conflict
of independence with Azerbaijan.

Unlike in other regional conflicts, the sides have avoided renewed
serious clashes without intervention by international peacekeepers,
the foreign minister of the unrecognized Nagorny-Karabakh republic,
Ashot Gulyan, said in the capital Stepanakert.

The 4,400-square-kilometre mountain territory is formally part of
Moslem Azerbaijan but is populated mainly by Christian Armenians.

At least 20,000 people died and 750,000 Azeris became refugees during
the 1992-1994 war between Azerbaijan and the Karabakh Armenians
assisted by troops from neighbouring Armenia.

The sides called a ceasefire on May 12, 1994, with help from other
former Soviet republics, but attempts to find a lasting solution to
the conflict failed.

There were no serious clashes since then along the demarcation line
although frequent exchanges of fire persist, Nagorny-Karabakh’s
defence chief Sergei Oganyan said Wednesday.

Landmines killed at least eight people in the region this year alone,
according to the British mine-clearing organization Halo Trust. dpa
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