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Former Armenian president to testify on 2016 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict


Former Armenian president to testify on 2016 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

armenia sargsyan
Photo: HETQ

Former Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan will testify today at a parliamentary committee investigating the circumstances of military operations during the 2016 April War.

Suspicion has long surrounded the event due to conflicting casualty reports and allegations of flawed military decision-making.

The 2016 April War erupted along the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact. The region—which lies inside Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians and supported by Armenian military and financial backing—is the site of regular clashes between the two countries. With an estimated 350 casualties, the April War constitutes the deadliest breach of the 1994 ceasefire signed following a six-year war.

Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, is considered integral to both the Armenian and Azerbaijani national identities. Disputes over the region have inflamed ethnic tensions and xenophobic sentiment in both countries.

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Expect Sargsyan’s testimony to have little effect on the resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. The severity of violence during April 2016 will likely complicate future containment and prevent the dispute’s return to its previously ‘frozen’ status. Leaders in both countries have since been trapped by their own rhetoric of total victory and any territorial concession would be widely perceived as a betrayal of national self-conception.

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