MFA: Main purpose of Armenia's mine sabotage is to artificially hinder return of IDPs to their homelands

The primary purpose of Armenia's mine sabotage is to artificially prevent the return of internally displaced persons to their homelands, said the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan in response to the mass media's question on a new appeal to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination issued in 1965.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled that in September last year, Azerbaijan filed interstate claims against Armenia to the UN International Court of Justice under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination:

"On December 7, 2021, the court unanimously adopted decisions on temporary measures against Armenia based on the petitions submitted by Azerbaijan. Thus, the court ordered Armenia to take all necessary steps to prevent the promotion and incitement of racial hostility against the citizens of Azerbaijan, and persons of Azerbaijani origin on the territory of Armenia, including organizations and individuals, based on hate speech, as well as to refrain from actions that could intensify or prolong the dispute, including making it difficult to resolve it.

The main reason for the adoption of this decision of the court is that the individuals and ethnic-nationalist groups (mainly VOMA, POGA, etc.) who made revanchist, hate speech, and violent calls against Azerbaijanis by Armenia weren't held accountable, and their activities are encouraged in some cases by the state authorities of Armenia. Azerbaijan presented evidence and proof of rewarding the organization's activists by Armenia.

Despite these court decisions, Armenia continued to grossly violate its obligations in 2022. No practical measures were taken against revanchists, hate speech, and violent calls against Azerbaijanis on the country's territory, and militarized illegal groups continued their activities against Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis. Starting from April of this year, the main slogan voiced during internal demonstrations in Armenia and directed against Azerbaijanis was "Armenia without Turks".

At the same time, before the city of Lachin and the villages of Zabukh and Sus came under Azerbaijan's full control, the Armenians who illegally settled there during the occupation showed their ethnic hatred against the Azerbaijanis by burning the houses belonging to the Azerbaijanis and destroying the forests. The Armenian government has not taken any practical measures to prevent these cases or hold those persons accountable for the crimes committed.

In addition, up to 1,400 mines made in Armenia were discovered in 2021 during the demining actions in the Lachin district. Most of the areas where mines were buried are villages and settlements where Azerbaijanis once lived. The primary purpose of this provocation is to artificially hinder IDPs from returning to their homes.

The evidence proving that Armenia grossly violated the decisions of the international court dated December 7, 2021, was officially submitted to the international court today. Azerbaijan will ensure the use of all possible international mechanisms for the legal assessment of the crimes committed by Armenia during the period of occupation and those that continue to be committed at present.

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