Unexplained incidents on Armenia-Azerbaijan border

Over the last days there have been a number of unexplained incidents involving Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on the international border and close to the line of contact in the Karabakh conflict zone.

Both sides accuse each other and deny any wrongdoing. The Armenian side says that one of its soldiers was killed in one of the incidents and blames Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani side strongly denied being involved.

There are a number of unanswered questions as to what is going on, and who is involved. Because of the proximity of the the forces of the two sides there have been hundreds of incidents in the past that were caused by bored conscript soldiers shooting erratically. This could very well be what has been happening this week. But there could be other reasons too, including that someone on either or both sides is trying to spark a more serious incident.

The incidents come within days of the discussions held in Brussels between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan during which it was agreed to start negotiations on a peace treaty, with a view to reaching an agreement before the end of the year. Incidents and tensions on the border do not contribute to such a process.

The problem is that the current situation on the ground is not subject to proper monitoring. On the line of contact in the Karabakh conflict zone Russian troops are supposed to keep the peace. Their performance has been somewhat erratic. A Russian-Turkish monitoring centre is also supposed to be monitoring the situation. Nothing has been heard from them recently.

So questions continue as to what is happening, and why.

source: commonspace.eu
photo: Armenia and Azerbaijani flags fly in close proximity on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border (archive picture)