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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 11-Nov-2020
11-Nov-20 World View -- Facing military disaster, Armenia agrees to Russian peace deal with Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh

Web Log - November, 2020

11-Nov-20 World View -- Facing military disaster, Armenia agrees to Russian peace deal with Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh

Ethiopia civil war threatens to destabilize horn of Africa

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Facing military disaster, Armenia agrees to Russian peace deal with Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh

Map of Azerbaijan and Armenia, showing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region (BBC)
Map of Azerbaijan and Armenia, showing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region (BBC)

Armenia has agreed to a Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal with Azerbaijan, mediated by Russia, rather than face a complete military debacle. Azerbaijani military forces have achieved a string of victories in capturing cities and villages around Nagorno-Karabakh. On Sunday, Azerbaijani forces captured Shusha (Shushi), the region's second-largest town, and were close to attacking the Nagorno-Karabakh capital city Stepanakert, which is on the main road to Armenia.

Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the deal "incredibly painful both for both me and our people." He added, "The army said that we had to stop, because there are problems for which there are no solution, and the army was out of resources."

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said “This (ceasefire) agreement has historic significance. This agreement constitutes Armenia’s capitulation. This agreement puts an end to the years-long occupation."

Vagram Pogosian, a spokesman for the Armenian government in Nagorno-Karabakh, said "Unfortunately, we are forced to admit that a series of failures still haunt us, and the city of Shushi is completely out of our control. The enemy is on the outskirts of Stepanakert.”

Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, "We will stand alongside Azerbaijan. This is a great success, a victory for Azerbaijan. Territories that were under occupation for 30 years are being taken back."

This is the fourth mediated cease-fire agreement on the last three months. The previous ones lasted only a day. There are two things that make this one different. First, there is the lingering threat the Azerbaijani military forces will continue on to Stepanakert and take control of the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region. And second, Russia is deploying its own military forces to separate the two sides and prevent a resumption of fighting.

Nagorno-Karabakh's standard generational pattern

This is actually the next step in a standard generational pattern.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a region within Azerbaijan, but which has a mostly Armenian population which governs it. Nagorno-Karabakh ("highland Karabakh") is also called Karabakh by Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Artsakh by Armenia. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an extremely bloody war broke out. Armenia invaded Azerbaijan and defeated the Azeri defenders of Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people displaced or killed.

The war ended in 1994 because of Russia's mediation, but since then it's proceeded according to a standard generational pattern, with periods of peace alternating with periods of low-level violence that grow worse with each iteration. In typical situations, this process continues until at least 58 years after the end of the war, when the survivors of the war are no longer in power, and a new war breaks out. In this case, a new full-scale war would not be anticipated until at least 2052.

So it remains to be seen how long the new cease-fire will last. Maybe it will last only a day like the last one. Or, maybe it will last a couple of years like the cease-fire negotiated in 2016. But you can be absolutely certain that it will not last.

Joyous celebrations in Baku, Azerbaijan

Al-Jazeera is showing video of the streets of Azerbaijan's capital city Baku filled with overjoyed people, dancing, singing, and shouting (without, incidentally, much sign of masks or social distancing).

Joyous, grinning young girls were launghinbly describing how they will now return to their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh, where their parents were displaced in 1994. They chuckled as they said that it won't be long before all of Nagorno-Karabakh is returned to Azerbaijan, so that they can all return to all of their former homes.

One 52-year-old Azeri is quoted as saying complained that the government agreed to the cease-fire. "We were about to gain the whole of Nagorno-Karabakh back. The agreement is very vague I don’t trust Armenia and I don’t trust Russia even more.”

Furious rioting in Yerevan, Armenia

The video from Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia was considerably grimmer. Furious citizens are demanding the resignation of Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his entire government, saying that he betrayed the Armenian people, and asking why Pashinyan waited until now to capitulate, after 1,300 Armenian soldiers have already been killed in the fighting.

Rioting broke out in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, where crowds stormed and ransacked government buildings.

Threat of Russia - Turkey clash

As "historic" as the cease-fire agreement is, there are a number of issues remaining.

Russia is claiming to be the kingmaker that brought about the deal, but Turkey was not part of the deal. Turkey was heavily committed to backing Azerbaijan in the fighting, and have even provided hundreds of Syrian jihadists to fight alongside the Azerbaijani forces, according to a number of reports, paying the jihadists pay ranging from $1,200 to $2,000 per month.

Russia and Turkey are historic enemies that have fought massive wars against each other in previous centuries, and are already supporting opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Libya. Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to restore the former glory of the ancient Ottoman Empire, and being shut out of the Nagorno-Karabakh cease-fire deal in favor of Russia is contrary to those glorious plans.

According to some reports, the Russians did not want to commit Russian troops to enforce the ceasefire, but felt that they had to because if the fighting continued, it was likely that Russia and Turkey would soon be at war. Russia is supposed to be an ally of Armenia, and has a military base in Armenia, so an increase in fighting could force Russia to defend Armenia from the Turks.

Russian forces are scheduled to remain for at least five years. Almost 2,000 servicemen, 90 armured personnel carriers, and 380 vehicles and pieces of other hardware were being deployed. Russian media said 20 military planes had taken off for the region and had started arriving in Armenia en route to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russia says that there had been no agreement on deploying any Turkish peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Turkish military will help staff a joint monitoring center with Russian forces.

The Khojaly Massacre, February 26, 1992

According to Azerbaijan, on February 26, 1992, 613 Azeri civilians were massacred by Armenian soldiers in the town of Khojaly in Nagorno-Karabakh. Some 487 people, including 76 children, were critically injured. According to Azerbaijan, this was genocide.

According to Armenia, Khojaly had been used as an Azeri firebase from which to use multi-rocket launches on residential areas of Stepanakert, purposely killing as many Armenian civilians as possible. Everyone knew that an Armenian military attack on Khojaly was coming, but according to Armenia, the Azeri military purposely blocked civilians from leaving Khojaly, so that the attack would result in a massacre of civilians, which they would call a genocide.

Whichever side is telling the truth, it remains clear that the Azeri people are demanding revenge for the Khojaly massacre.

The future of the Nagorno-Karabakh

This is a standard generational pattern, the next step in a string of alternating periods of war and ceasefire. The last ceasefires each lasted one day, Russia hopes this one will last at least five years.

As is always the case, it will be the people, rather than the politicians, who will decide how long the ceasefire will last.

The people of Azerbaijan, as far as I can tell, want the fighting to resume and continue. They want revenge for the Khojaly Massacre, they want to recapture the rest of Nagorno-Karabakh and drive out all the Armenians, and those whose parents were displaced in the 1991-94 war are demanding to return to those homes.

All of these steps are inevitable, if not right away then in the next few years, and the result will be genocide and ethnic cleansing of Armenians.

Ethiopia civil war threatens to destabilize horn of Africa

This is a completely separate subject, for those who are interested in more than the subject of voter fraud in Pennsylvania. I've written several times in the past about the ethnic situation in Ethiopia, but it's been peaceful for a couple of years, and now new clashes are creating a refugee crisis that can threaten the entire horn of Africa.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who comes from the Oromo tribe, the largest Ethiopia ethnic group, has ordered hundreds of air strikes and an army offensive against the Tigray minority in northern Ethiopia. Already 2,500 Ethiopians have fled into Sudan, and the fear is that a wider civil war would bring hundreds of thousands of refugees into Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya. Even worse, the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea may be renewed The African Union called for a ceasefire, but we know how those things go.

I've written about the civil war between the Tigrays and the Oromos several times in the past, and how Abiy Ahmed got a Nobel "Peace" Price by ending the civil war. But, as in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, there is a generational pattern that's always followed, with alternating periods of peace and conflict, with the conflict worsening with each iteration. I'm still spending a lot of time on my Vietnam book, but I'll try to write something soon to bring the Ethiopian civil war up to day.


Related Articles - Nagorno-Karabakh:

Related Articles-Ethiopia:

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (11-Nov-2020) Permanent Link
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