Attention urged towards humanitarian impact of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Updated: Oct 29,2020 04:39 GMT

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United Nations, Oct 29 (IANS) A UN spokesman has called for attention to the humanitarian impact of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, amid the ongoing military tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at a briefing on Wednesday that according to the Unicef "more than 130,000 people have been displaced, 76 schools and kindergartens damaged, and one maternity hospital shelled during the one month of fighting", reports Xinhua news agency

"Countless children are being scarred by the psychological impact of daily exposure to rocket and missile attacks in civilian areas," Dujarric said citing the Unicef data.

"We again reiterate the Secretary-General's call on the parties to immediately implement the humanitarian ceasefire that the parties have committed to and fully abide by their obligations to spare and protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.

"The ongoing hostilities are unacceptable and must stop immediately.

"As the Secretary-General has stated unequivocally, we strongly condemn all attacks on populated areas impacted by the conflict, including the strikes on the city of Barda, which reportedly killed and wounded many, as well as the ongoing reported shelling of Stepanakert/Khankendi and other localities in the Nagorno-Karabakh zone of conflict.

"There can be no justification for such attacks," the spokesman added.

Dujarric's remarks came after the collapse of a US-brokered ceasefire reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Shortly after coming into effect at 4 a.m. (local time) on Monday, the two sides broke the ceasefire and traded accusations and attacks with each other.

Monday's ceasefire agreement was the third within weeks. The two other Russia-brokered agreements were reached on October 10 and October 17, but both sides blamed each other for not observing them.

A new round of armed conflict broke out on September 27 along the contact line of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority.

The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, April 2016 and in July tjis year.

Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the region in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire.

However, a settlement was never reached.

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