APPEAL of the Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the international community on April 4 - International Mine Awareness and Mine Action Assistance Day

As it is known, according to the resolution of the UN General Assembly dated December 8, 2005, April 4 is celebrated every year as International Mine Awareness and Mine Action Assistance Day.

The main purpose of this day, which is held within the framework of the 2023 "Demining process cannot wait" campaign, is to draw attention to areas affected by mine contamination.

It should be noted with regret that the Republic of Armenia was not satisfied with only occupying our cities and regions in the Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur region of the Republic of Azerbaijan for nearly 30 years, but also mined those areas massively in order to harm people's lives and health.

In the period after the tripartite Declaration signed on November 10, 2020, as a result of numerous mine explosions that occurred in our territories freed from occupation, in addition to military personnel, civilians were also victims of mine terrorism.

The Armenian side not only avoids informing our country about the exact maps of the mines it buried in our territories during the past period, but continues to pollute our territories freed from occupation with mines again through subversion-sabotage groups.

Thus, according to the information of the Demining Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 289 citizens became victims of mines and other explosive munitions during the period after the Patriotic War, of which 51 people were killed and 238 people were injured. In total, 3368 people have been killed or injured by mine explosions, including 357 children and 38 women, as a result of mine incidents that have occurred since 1991.

The current landmine problem, which has caused numerous casualties, serious injuries and disabilities, poses a serious obstacle to large-scale construction and rehabilitation in our liberated areas, as well as to peace.

In order to ensure the safe return of our former IDPs, who were forced to leave their ancestral lands as a result of Armenia's ethnic cleansing and occupation policy for many years, those areas must first be cleared of mines, and the infrastructure destroyed there must be restored.

Despite repeated requests, Armenia has not yet provided our country with accurate maps of the areas it mined on purpose.

By mining our liberated territories, Armenia violated the norms and principles of international humanitarian law, especially the requirements of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 and Additional Protocol I on the Protection of War Victims, and by officially declaring this, it showed open disrespect to the international community.

We believe that the entire world community should be united in the fight against mine terrorism for the sake of protecting people's rights to live, live safely and protect health.

In this regard, in our statements and appeals addressed to international and regional organizations operating in the field of human rights, to national human rights institutions of various countries, as well as in our special report, we presented the facts related to the landmine problem in the territories freed from occupation, and requested them to take urgent measures within the framework of their mandates.

It is a pity that the international community has not expressed concern about the threat of mines created by Armenia against Azerbaijan and has not shown any interest in taking effective measures in this regard.

As the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I once again appeal to the world community to show a decisive position regarding the elimination of the existing problem and to support the demining process.


Sabina Aliyeva


of Azerbaijan Republic

Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman)


April 04, 2023

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