'Don't be blind,' Armenian diaspora warns heads of state

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Axel Tardieu (access the author's page)

Since the awakening of an armed conflict between Armenia and its neighbor, Azerbaijan, the Armenian diaspora is worried and mobilized in the Canadian streets. Nearly 100,000 say they are Armenians and live in the country. The diaspora of this West Asian country prays every day not to count new deaths among their loved ones there. They ask the heads of state to recognize the independence of this Republic in order to put an end to the conflict.

Don't be blind. Stop the terrorist Erdoganchanted the hundreds of demonstrators in the Canadian government present on September 13 in front of the Legislative Assembly in Edmonton. They come from Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton. All of them have Armenian blood and have relatives in the South Caucasus, at war since the end of September.

I have childhood friends who fight on the front lines. Some were killed because of the bombing. The international community needs to react, but no one is doing anything, says Aram Babasyan, born in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

A man with a Nagorno-Karabakh Republic flag on his mask.

Several relatives of Aram Babasyan are currently on the front lines.

Photo: Kamé St-Cyr

A native of Quebec, Paylig Oltadjian also made the trip with her family. This gathering causes a lot of emotions in me. It causes a very strong feeling of injustice and nationalism, she admits.

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The heavy memory of the genocide

Everyone sees the conflict, which rages over 9,000 kilometers away, as the specter of a second genocide. Between 1915 and 1922, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by the Ottoman Turks.

<q data-attributes = '{"lang": {"value": "fr", "label": "Français"}, "value": {"html": "We have all heard horrible stories. C' is the same thing happening right now in Artsakh (Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh)"," text ":" We've all heard horrible stories. The same is happening right now in Artsakh (Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh) "}} 'lang =" en”>We've all heard horrible stories. The same is happening right now in Artsakh (Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh), assures Hakob Petrosyan, another protester. Turkey has been accused of blowing the embers of the current conflict by providing military support to its Turkish-speaking ally.

If Turkey and Azerbaijan lay down their arms, there will be peace. If the Armenians lay down their arms, there will be genocide, proclaims Sévag Torossian, lawyer at the Paris Bar, in a forum of the FigaroIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it.. The diaspora is worried, but is mobilizing. Gatherings were held October 15 in Washington DC, October 19 in Buenos Aires and the next day in Madrid.

In this war, Azerbaijan has been determined for 26 years to retake Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave conquered by pro-Armenia separatist forces in 1994, but granted by Joseph Stalin in 1921. After three weeks of conflict, the camp Armenian suffered heavy losses against a more armed enemy.

A man seated among the rubble.

A man prays in a destroyed church 15 kilometers from the Nagorno-Karabakh border.

Photo: AFP / Aris Messinis

Despite the humanitarian ceasefire decreed on Saturday, October 10, the fighting continues. The Armenians are waging a trench warfare against Azeri drones. An armed escalation of Azerbaijan is to be expected after several weeks of war which weakened Armenian defenses, according to Thomas de Waal, a British expert interviewed by the New York TimesIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it..

News from the front

The signs Recognize the Republic of Artsakh by the dozen at the protest outside the Alberta Legislature in mid-October. Kristina Petrosyan and her husband, Henadzi Arakelian, believe that such recognition would end the conflict.

From her home in south Edmonton, the young mother thinks of those close to her in Nagorno-Karabakh every day. Two years ago, she left her hometown, Stepanakert, the capital of this micro-state, and now a ghost town.

My mother and sister are now safe in Yerevan, she says. Two members of his family have died in recent weeks. With her husband, they expected another war, but they did not imagine that it would be so brutal.

A woman seated at a table.

Kristina Petrosyan has been trying to reach her relatives every day since the start of the conflict.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Axel Tardieu

The news is not good. Our relatives had to leave their homes to escape the bombing. People die every day and lives are shattered. Women and children are safe, but we are worried about the men fighting on the front lines right now, explains the latter.

For the Armenian community, Nagorno-Karabakh has nothing to do with Azerbaijan. However, this region, whose majority of the population is to this day Christian Armenians, is landlocked within this Shiite Muslim state. The Republic of Artsakh has never been recognized by the international community which, on the other hand, recognizes this land as Azeri property.

A simple dead end war

Members of the Armenian diaspora are calling, loud and clear, for the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh by heads of state, such as Justin Trudeau or Emmanuel Macron. They see it as a way to end the conflict. About twenty French deputies expressed the same wish on October 15In addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it.. However, this diplomatic gesture would be far from ensuring an end, according to Frédéric Mégret, professor of international law at McGill University.

Recognition is often seen as a quick fix, he believes. It must be seen that it is extremely unlikely, since no state currently recognizes the Republic of Artsakh. This does not prevent us from seeking creative solutions, but these solutions must come first of all from Armenia and Azerbaijan. Compared to international law, the a priori is more favorable to the Azeri cause.

A man in tears at the grave of a soldier in Stepanakert, capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, on October 17.

A man in tears at the grave of a soldier in Stepanakert, capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, on October 17.

Photo: dpa via getty images / Aris Messinis

Even if a yes victory is to be expected if a hypothetical referendum on the independence of this microstate takes place, it would be an artificial situation, according to Professor Frédéric Mégret, since Nagorno-Karabakh was emptied of its Azeri inhabitants by the action of the weapons of the early 1990s .

In reaction to requests from the diaspora, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied, Wednesday, by email, to Radio-Canada: <q data-attributes = "{" lang ": {" value ":" fr "," label " : "Français"}, "value": {"html": "Canada urges all parties to respect the ceasefire and work towards a negotiated solution. Canada's position remains based on its strong support for the work of OSCE Minsk Group towards a negotiated solution, and our position is without prejudice to the outcome of that process. "," text ":" Canada urges all parties to respect the ceasefire and to work towards it. a negotiated solution. Canada's position remains based on its strong support for the work of the OSCE Minsk Group towards a negotiated solution, and our position is without prejudice to the outcome of this process. "}}" Lang = "en”>Canada urges all parties to respect the ceasefire and work towards a negotiated solution. Canada's position remains based on its strong support for the work of the OSCE Minsk Group towards a negotiated solution, and our position is without prejudice to the outcome of this process.

Nearly 2,500 Canadians of Azerbaijani origin gathered in downtown Toronto on October 18, according to The Canadian Press. They demand the return of the lands occupied by Armenia. The Azeri government, for its part, has indicated that it sees only one outcome: the withdrawal of its adversary.


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