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UN Supreme Court orders Azerbaijan to end Armenian road blockade

The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ordered Azerbaijan to end its disputed blockade in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, warning that Armenians risk suffering food and medicine shortages.

The UN Supreme Court, which adjudicates disputes between states, said at the same time that Baku did not prove that the mines allegedly planted by Yerevan specifically targeted Azerbaijanis.

The ruling is part of a wider legal battle between two former Soviet republics that fought a brief war over the region in 2020.

Since mid-December, Azerbaijani groups have blocked the only road from Armenia to Karabakh, called the Rachin Corridor, in protest over what they claim is illegal mining causing environmental destruction. There is

However, the ICJ has ordered an end to the blockade.

“Azerbaijan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure the unhindered movement of persons, vehicles and cargo in both directions along the Rachin Corridor…until a final decision is taken in this case.” I will,” said presiding judge Joanne Donoghue.

“Disturbances in the Rachin Corridor hinder the deportation of Armenian nationals and ethnic Armenians,” she said in a ruling handed down at the court’s headquarters in The Hague.

Evidence presented at a court hearing last month showed that imports of essential commodities into Nagorno-Karabakh were blocked, “causing shortages of food, medicines and other life-saving medical supplies,” Donoghue said. said the official.

The court therefore concluded that there was urgency and that “there is a danger of causing irreversible prejudice.”

– “Don’t put evidence” –

Armenia told a judge last month that a mountainous region of about 120,000 people was running out of food, medicine and fuel as a result of the blockade.

It called on the ICJ to order Azerbaijan to end its blockade and ensure the full flow of goods and natural gas to the region, and accused Baku of “ethnic cleansing”.

In response, Azerbaijan said the allegations were “baseless”.

It has filed a counterclaim against Armenia in court, accusing Yerevan of laying landmines and planting booby traps in areas “killing and maiming Azerbaijanis”.

However, a majority of a 16 panel of judges ruled that Azerbaijan’s claim was not met under the treaty in which it was raised.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination “does not impose an obligation on Armenia to take steps to enable Azerbaijan to carry out demining or to stop and stop laying mines,” said Judge Donoghue. Stated.

“Azerbaijan has not provided any evidence to the court to show Armenia’s alleged conduct regarding landmines,” she said.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenian ethnic separatists from Nagorno-Karabakh seceded from Azerbaijan.

The ensuing conflict claimed the lives of some 30,000 people.

Another war between the Caucasus’ biggest enemies in 2020 killed more than 6,500 people and ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede territory it had controlled for decades.

But anxiety persists.

Both countries called on courts to take urgent action to address broader retaliatory lawsuits alleging violations of international anti-discrimination treaties.

Wednesday’s ruling will be handed down after hearings held in late January, but the overall decision will take several years.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/uns-top-court-orders-azerbaijan-to-end-armenia-roadblock-525966/ UN Supreme Court orders Azerbaijan to end Armenian road blockade

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