Protests Against Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire Agreement Continue in Yerevan, Armenia

Nellie Chapman
November 16, 2020

Pashinyan has come under pressure from thousands of protesters demanding his resignation following the ceasefire deal in Nagorno-Karabakh that led to Azerbaijan taking control of the area on Sunday and ended fighting that had taken place since late September.

A key part of the peace deal includes Armenia's return of Kalbajar, as well as the Aghdam district by November 20 and the Lachin district by December 1, which have been held by Armenians since the devastating 1990s war left 30,000 people dead.

Kalbajar was nearly exclusively populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis before they were expelled by Armenians in a 1990s war between the two countries following the break up of the Soviet Union, and a majority of the homes being burned previously belonged to Azerbaijanis.

Though Kalbajar's departing residents are bound for a hard journey through the mountainous landscape that connects the region with Armenia, most chose to leave few of their belongings behind - and many set their homes on fire to make them unusable for future Azerbaijani residents.

"We also moved our parents' graves, the Azerbaijanis will take great pleasure in desecrating our graves".

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Monday to discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Kremlin said.

Since then, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

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Villagers outside of Nagorno-Karabakh set their homes on fire Saturday before fleeing to Armenia ahead of a weekend deadline that will see some territory handed over to Azerbaijan as part of a peace agreement.

The deployment bill submitted to parliament requests a one-year mandate to send Turkish peacekeepers, adding that the president would determine the number of troops to be sent.

Before departing en masse, Armenians flocked to the Dadivank monastery nestled in a Kalbajar gorge for a final visit before it was ceded to Azerbaijan.

Several thousand opposition supporters gathered for a new rally in Yerevan on Monday, with many chanting "Nikol leave" and "Nikol the traitor".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked parliament to authorise sending soldiers to Azerbaijan to establish a "peacekeeping centre" with Russian Federation to monitor a truce in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Vanetsyan, leader of the centre-right "Homeland" party, was released on Sunday after a court ruled that his detention lacked legal grounds.

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