Armenia has not provided Azerbaijan with maps of minefields, resulting in the continued loss of innocent lives in the territories liberated from Armenian occupation. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan initially declared the transfer of all minefield maps, while Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan later expressed a different position, suggesting that Armenia may possess additional information.

In October 2022, Prime Minister Pashinyan announced the transfer of all available minefield maps to Azerbaijan, denying possession of more accurate data. However, Foreign Minister Mirzoyan recently suggested the possibility of transferring additional maps based on newly discovered minefields. This statement raises doubts about previous claims and highlights the importance of accurate information for ensuring the safety of citizens and the reconstruction of Karabakh.

The increasing number of casualties from minefields emphasizes the seriousness of the situation. According to official statistics, 58 people in Azerbaijan were injured or killed by minefields laid by Armenia in 2023, resulting in 19 deaths and 39 injuries. Since the end of the 2020 war, there have been a total of 342 casualties, including 65 deaths.

In this context, international involvement in addressing the minefield problem is crucial. Azerbaijan actively promotes dialogue on this issue at various international platforms, such as proposing the establishment of a “Global Trust Fund to Combat the Mine Threat” in April 2022. President Ilham Aliyev has emphasized the significant time and resources needed to solve the demining issue.

The exchange of information on minefields in the past has often been coupled with humanitarian gestures between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For example, on June 12, 2021, Armenia handed over maps of minefields in the Agdam district to Azerbaijan, in exchange for the release of 15 Armenian soldiers. This exchange highlights the severity of the mine problem in the liberated territories.

President Aliyev has highlighted the limited accuracy (25%) of the maps provided by Armenia, reiterating the crucial need for complete and accurate data to ensure security. Recent statements by the Armenian leadership raise questions about the consistency and reliability of their previous commitments.

In conclusion, the existence of minefields presents a significant obstacle to post-conflict reconstruction and development in the region. The urgency of addressing this issue necessitates active intervention from the international community to encourage Armenia to provide Azerbaijan with all available minefield maps. This action is a key factor in ensuring regional security and stability. Effective resolution ultimately requires transparency and accountability from Armenia, alongside the active support and participation of the international community.


Murad Najafov

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