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The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Thousands of Armenian Christians Fleeing Amidst Rising Violence and Concerns of Ethnic Cleansing

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The recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh has resulted in a mass exodus of ethnic Armenians. Thousands of people have fled the disputed territory, fearing ethnic cleansing at the hands of Azerbaijani forces. The situation has escalated since Azerbaijan's military operation last week, which seized control of Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenian separatist forces. Reports indicate that shelling by Azerbaijani forces has resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.[0]

As a result of the violence, thousands of Armenian Christians have fled their ancestral homeland in Nagorno-Karabakh and sought refuge in neighboring Armenia. The Armenian government has confirmed that more refugees are expected to arrive in the coming days. The influx of refugees has put a strain on Armenia's resources and infrastructure, raising concerns about the country's ability to cope with the growing population.[1]

The international community has expressed concerns about the use of force in Nagorno-Karabakh.[2] US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. State Department Acting Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Yuri Kim have both stated that the use of force in the region is unacceptable.[3] However, despite these statements, the United States is now considering an appropriate response to the situation.[3]

Azerbaijan's president, Ilham Aliyev, has assured that the rights of ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh will be respected. He stated that regardless of ethnicity, the residents of Karabakh are citizens of Azerbaijan. However, fears of ethnic cleansing persist among the Armenian population, leading to the mass exodus from the region.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has led to a humanitarian crisis, with reports of overcrowded refugee centers and shortages of medical supplies and humanitarian aid. Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have stated that they are unable to facilitate the transport of injured individuals due to congestion on the highways.[4] They have urged people to stay home and have assured the public that those who wish to leave will be able to do so in due course.[5]

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, Samantha Power, visited Armenia in response to the crisis.[3] She emphasized the need for an international presence in Nagorno-Karabakh to assess whether Azerbaijan is implementing its commitments. Power stated that high-level discussions are taking place in Washington to determine the appropriate action to take in response to the conflict.[3]

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh is a long-standing issue that has resulted in two wars.[6] The region, populated predominantly by ethnic Armenian Christians, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.[7] However, tensions between the two countries have persisted for decades, with both sides claiming sovereignty over the territory.

In the midst of the conflict, Armenia has called on the United Nations to help monitor the human rights of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.[2] Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has emphasized the need for guarantees from Azerbaijan that civilians will be protected.[0]

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains highly volatile, with the international community closely monitoring developments. The influx of refugees into Armenia has raised concerns about their safety and well-being. It is imperative that a peaceful resolution is reached to ensure the protection of civilians and the restoration of stability in the region.

0. “Thousands Flee Nagorno-Karabakh as Armenia Warns of Ethnic Cleansing” Democracy Now!, 25 Sep. 2023,

1. “Ethnic cleansing fears as thousands flee Nagorno-Karabakh into Armenia after Azerbaijan seized the disputed en” Daily Mail, 25 Sep. 2023,

2. “Nagorno-Karabakh refugees arrive in Armenia” DW (English), 25 Sep. 2023,

3. “Top U.S. Official Calls for International Presence in Artsakh –” Asbarez Armenian News, 25 Sep. 2023,

4. “Armenia receives thousands of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh” OC Media, 25 Sep. 2023,

5. “‘We know we aren't going back': Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians face up to a life in exile” POLITICO Europe, 26 Sep. 2023,

6. “Faces of Karabakh refugees bear scars of conflict” The Telegraph, 24 Sep. 2023,

7. “Hundreds of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh flee to Armenia” Al Jazeera English, 25 Sep. 2023,

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