The Former Self-Proclaimed Republic of Nagoro Karabach: A New Era Begins

The Former Self-Proclaimed Republic of Nagoro Karabach: A New Era Begins

Introduction

January 1st marked a significant turning point for the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagoro Karabach. After decades of conflict, this Armenian majority territory in the South Caucasus region has ceased to exist. A new era begins as it is now fully under the governance of Aaban, the mountainous enclave in the region.

A Brief History

Nagoro Karabach, located in the Aeran region, was never recognized by the international community as a separate entity. In September of the previous year, Aeran defeated the breakaway region in a one-day war, causing approximately 100,000 people to flee. The self-styled Republic's leader initially signed an agreement to dissolve Nagoro Karabach by 2024. However, he has recently backtracked on that decision. Despite this, Aeran has absorbed the territory.

The Takeover

In September 2023, Baku launched a military offensive that took less than 24 hours to seize Nagoro Karabach. The separatist leaders surrendered, and a ceasefire was brokered by Russia. The majority of Nagoro Karabach's ethnic Armenian population fled to the borders, leaving their homes behind. They now live as refugees with uncertain plans for the future.

Tensions and Wars

Tensions between Aaban and Armenia over Nagoro Karabach date back over a century. In the past 30 years alone, they have fought two wars over the region. In the first war, which ended in 1994, the Armenian side took control of Nagoro Karabach and seven other districts. However, in 2020, Aaban regained control of those districts and a third of Nagoro Karabach with the help of Turkish weaponry. The takeover sparked protests from the Armenian community, while Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited Aaban to congratulate President Ilham Aliyev.

The Current Situation

Nagoro Karabach is now part of Aaban's territory but is largely devoid of people following the takeover. Aaban's plans for the region remain unclear. President Aliyev assures that the Armenians who choose to return will have equal security and rights. However, after decades of violence and displacement, there is little trust among the Armenian population for promises from Baku.

The Plight of the Refugees

The Armenian refugees from Nagoro Karabach now live new lives in Armenia. Many of them were shocked by their forced mass exodus and left disoriented about their future. Having lost their homeland, they face challenges in finding new jobs and paying off debts accumulated in Nagoro Karabach. The economic aspect adds to their frustration and may have motivated the separatist leader to cancel the dissolution of the region.

The Road to Peace

A peace agreement was expected to be signed by the end of the year, followed by efforts to normalize relations and exchange prisoners. However, the region's geopolitical situation is complex. Both Armenia and Aaban have powerful allies in Russia and Turkey, respectively. Russia, historically a protector of Armenia, has shown closer cooperation with Aaban in recent times. The future of peace in the region remains uncertain.

Conclusion

The former self-proclaimed Republic of Nagoro Karabach has officially dissolved, and Aaban has assumed control of the territory. The consequences of the separatist leader's statement disputing the dissolution are yet to be seen. The Armenian refugees face a challenging transition in Armenia, with uncertainties about their future and economic prospects. The road to lasting peace in the region is still fraught with difficulties due to geopolitical complexities and historical tensions.

References:

  • Transcript excerpt: DW News
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