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24 Hum. Rts. Brief 147 (2020-2021)
Toward Permanent Peace and Stability in Artsakh

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147      ARTICLES


TOWARD PERMANENT

PEACE AND STABILITY

          IN   ARTSAKH

 by   George S. Yacoubian, Jr.


The Nagorno-Karabakh   war is an ethnic, religious,
and  territorial conflict between Armenia and
Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Artsakh, an
Armenian  enclave within Azerbaijan. The modern
conflict began in 1988 when Armenians demanded
that Artsakh be transferred from Soviet Azerbaijan to
Soviet Armenia. The dispute escalated into a full-scale
war in the early 1990s. A ceasefire signed in 1994
provided for two decades of relative stability, but
escalations in April 2016, and most recently in October
2020, have renewed the antagonism.

More  than 30 years have passed with no resolution,
costing thousands of lives, millions of dollars, and
unfathomable  anguish. All interested parties have
failed, including the competing nations, the
international community, and the Armenian
diaspora. In the current essay, I propose multiple
potential solutions to the Artsakh conflict, with a
permanent  recommendation  grounded in pragmatism
and  traditional peacekeeping principles. Armenia's
withdrawal from the remaining areas of Artsakh, in
exchange for renumeration from Azerbaijan, financial
and  military assistance from the European Union,
and financial and logistical assistance from
Azerbaijan, the European Union, and the United
States with relocation of Artsakh Armenians to
Armenia  proper, would signal an end to unnecessary
human  suffering. As an Armenian living in the
diaspora whose grandparents survived the 1915
Armenian  Genocide, the inclination to cede territory
that is inhabited almost exclusively by ethnic
Armenians  is anathema to me. That said, my personal


contempt for aggression against Armenia and fellow
Armenians  must be tempered by the international
legal reality and the cumulative and overwhelming
humanitarian  crisis in the region.

What  you leave behind is not what is engraved in
stone monuments,  but what is woven into the lives of
others. ~ Pericles

I. HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND

Armenia  is a small, landlocked nation bordered by
Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Iran to the
south, and Azerbaijan to the east. The area stands at
the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. While
Armenia  emerged as a democracy with the
dissolution of the Soviet Union in September 1991,
its modern history includes significant victimization
by the Ottoman Empire,' which is critical to
understanding the current conflict with Azerbaijan.
By the 1800s, the once powerful Ottoman Empire
began to decline. For centuries, Turkey spurned
technological and economic progress while the
nations of Europe had embraced innovation and
become  industrial giants.2 While the Greeks, Serbs,
and Romanians  achieved independence, Armenians
remained mired  in the backward empire under the
autocratic rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid.3

By the 1890s, young Armenians pressed for political
reforms, calling for a constitutional government,




* George S. Yacoubian, Jr., has advanced degrees in Criminology
and Criminal Justice, a J.D. from the Rutgers University School of
Law, an LL.M. in Transnational Law from the Temple University
School of Law, and an S.J.D. from the Suffolk University School of
Law. He is a graduate student in the Department of Negotiation
and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University and specializes
in criminal defense law, international criminal law, and interna-
tional child protection law. Direct all correspondences to George S.
Yacoubian, Jr., 150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F200, Radnor,
PA 19087, george@yacoubian-law.com.
1RICHARD G. HOVANISSIAN, ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IN PERSPEC-
TIVE 19-38 (1st ed. 1986).
2VAHAKN DADRIAN, WARRANT FOR GENOCIDE 39-45 (1999).
3 Id.


Vol. 24     Issue 3

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