Azerbaijan

Protests Erupt in Yerevan as Northern Armenian Land Ceded to Azerbaijan

Protests Spread in Yerevan as Land in Northern Armenia Ceded to Azerbaijan

YEREVAN — Protests erupted throughout the streets of Yerevan on May 27 as demonstrators staged a civil disobedience campaign to pressure Armenia’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinian. The protests resulted in the detention of over 270 individuals across the Armenian capital.

The protests were organized by the Tavush For The Homeland movement, which opposes recent border demarcations in Armenia’s northern Tavush region following military defeats to Azerbaijan under Pashinian’s leadership.

The recent delimitation of the border in northern Armenia saw Azerbaijan reclaim jurisdiction over four villages that had been under Yerevan’s control since the early 1990s. Local residents expressed outrage, stating that border markers were placed in some locations under the cover of darkness.

In the village of Kirants, clashes between police and residents occurred as some individuals demolished buildings scheduled to be handed over to Azerbaijan. Security forces are being deployed to the area to replace the military forces previously stationed by Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The new boundary line was established based on Soviet-era maps, with Kirants losing 50 plots of land and two residential homes to Baku. The timeline for the evacuation of Kirants villagers from their homes has not been disclosed, with Yerevan pledging compensation in the form of money or property.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian defended the land concessions, stating that they are a significant step towards peace with Azerbaijan. He emphasized, “We are not drawing a new border, we are simply reproducing the de jure border that had legal authority at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Growing discontent over the land concessions has led to widespread calls for Pashinian’s resignation, with Archbishop Bagrat Galstanian from Tavush Province mobilizing large numbers of protesters in recent days. Galstanian has criticized Pashinian for what many perceive as yielding excessively to Baku.

Despite the ongoing protests and unrest in Yerevan, Pashinian remains determined to move forward with the border delimitation, believing it will pave the way for lasting peace and stability between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

 

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