Lemkin Institute issues Red Flag Alert for Azerbaijan in Armenia

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 1 2023

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention is issuing a Red Flag Alert for Azerbaijan in Armenia, due to the alarming potential for an invasion of Armenia by Azerbaijan in the coming days and weeks.

"Azerbaijan has long coveted Armenia’s southern Syunik Province, which has been discussed in the recent past as the site of an Azerbaijani-controlled “Zangezur Corridor” to Nakhichevan. Considering recent political developments in the region—including the Azerbaijani invasion of Artsakh on September 19, 2023 and the ensuing seizure of the territory—and well-established genocidal Armenophobia endemic in Türkiye and Azerbaijan, an Azerbaijani invasion runs a dangerously high risk of devolving into genocide. We remind the world that genocide is not only expressed through mass murder. As was the case during the recent seizure of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh in September of 2023, genocide can also be expressed through a pattern of massacre, atrocity, and forced displacement from indigenous territory when the ideology behind these actions is aimed at destroying an identity in whole or in part," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

"To avoid a catastrophic invasion of Armenia by Azerbaijan, which would considerably threaten the peace and stability in the region for decades to come, it is imperative that Armenia and its allies do everything in their power to ensure that an invasion is unpalatable to Azerbaijan. Western powers, which have encouraged Armenia to distance itself from the Russian Federation (the state that has traditionally protected Armenia from Turkish and Azerbaijani aggression and expansionism—whom critics allege failed to defend Armenia from invasion as a member of the CSTO), must not fail to act while another genocide has begun brewing in the South Caucasus. Granting such a level of impunity to the genocidal atrocities committed by the Azerbaijani government and enabled by the Turkish state will only embolden them to continue their destabilizing agenda of aggression and expansionism in the South Caucasus, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

"Accordingly Western powers need to help Armenia strengthen its sovereign borders and its diplomatic position in the region. They can do this by insisting on Armenian control of any corridor running through its territory. They can further assist Armenia in securing its sovereignty by forcing Azerbaijan to withdraw its army from the border regions, by imposing sanctions on the Aliyev family, and by suspending Azerbaijan’s current visa and energy agreements with the EU, as suggested by a European Parliament resolution on October 5. France’s decision to increase weapons sales to Armenia could be helpful, but only if there is coordinated action and material support in the event of an invasion by Azerbaijan. The United States, for its part, can enforce Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act (1992), which excludes Azerbaijan from participation in economic programs created by the act. Section 907 has been waived by US presidents each year since 2002 but, given that Aliyev has proven to be a brutal genocidaire, the waivers must come to a permanent end.

"If the Western world continues to ignore genocide and effectively embrace it as a legitimate solution to intractable conflicts created and perpetuated by regimes like Azerbaijan, it will not only declare an end to the rules-based order of the post-Holocaust world; it will usher in an age of genocide as (if not more) destructive than the one that characterized the last mad rush for control of territory and resources across the globe," the Lemkin Institute said.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS