Health care in post-war situations, where the system's human and fixed capital are depleted, is challenging. The addition of a frozen conflict situation, where international recognition of boundaries and authorities are lacking, introduces further complexities.
Case description: Nagorno Karabagh (NK) is an ethnically Armenian territory locked within post-Soviet Azerbaijan and one such frozen conflict situation. This article highlights the use of evidence-based practice and community engagement to determine priority areas for health care training in NK. Drawing on the precepts of APEXPH (Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health) and MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships), this first-of-its-kind assessment in NK relied on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions supplemented with expert assessments and field observations. Training options were evaluated against a series of ethical and pragmatic principles.
Discussion and Evaluation: A unique factor among the ethical and pragmatic considerations when prioritizing among alternatives was NK's ambiguous political status and consequent sponsor constraints. Training priorities differed across the region and by type of provider, but consensus prioritization emerged for first aid, clinical Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses, and Adult Disease Management. These priorities were then incorporated into the training programs funded by the sponsor....
The paper describes and analyses the role of civil society in five conflict
cases – Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Western Sahara and Israel/
Palestine. It evaluates the relative effectiveness of civil society organisations (CSOs)
and assesses the potential and limits of CSO involvement in conflicts. In particular it
concentrates on civil society activities in the fields of peace training and education,
including formal and non-formal education, as well as research and media work. The
research also identifies the obstacles that local third sector is faced with, examining
experiences and lessons learned. The study then presents critical assessments of local
CSO contributions to conflict transformation and concludes with a set of suggestions
for local and mid-level civil society actors involved in these five conflict cases and
beyond. This paper is an overview study, to provide ideas and documentation to the
more detailed empirical research carried out in the context of the MICROCON Work
Package ‘Conflict in the European Neighbourhood’....
This research paper provides a theoretical and methodological framework for studying the social
construction and consequences of “no war, no peace” societies - with Armenia and Azerbaijan as
examples. Scholars regularly describe these two countries as “no war, no peace” societies but to
date the concept of a “no war, no peace” society has not been theoretically elaborated on. In
response, this paper furnishes a theoretical framework for understanding the specific characteristics
of “no war, no peace” societies, in particular the reproduction of institutions that generate conflict
potential within and among societies. It also identifies core themes and issues that can be used for
the operationalization and execution of empirical research. Finally, it examines the existing scientific
knowledge of the consequences of long-lasting “no war, no peace” situations. The paper consists of
four parts. The first part presents several conceptual approaches, which contribute to the study of
“no war, no peace” societies. The second part discusses the analytical value of this concept. The
next part explores institutional theory in relationship to “no war, no peace” societies. It asks why
and how the reproduction of conflict potential takes place. The fourth part develops the
methodology for this research project. The final part indicates possible/planned research outcomes of
this INTAS-sponsored research project....
September 9, 2008 The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program // Johns Hopkins University
The recent developments in Georgia had many negative consequences for the countries of the region and regional powers that have vested interests there. The West, with its slow, weak and at times inadequate response to the Russian aggression, broke many hearts in the region. People and politicians were grossly disappointed with the passive military support for Georgia both from Washington and Brussels. Although full-scale military activities are over, the West’s failure to actively back Georgia, as opposed to how it is thought to have acted during Reagan’s times, will have severe consequences for its economic and security ties to Azerbaijan. Political reforms in the country, and perhaps also in Georgia, are likely to suffer. Everyone now is asking one question: is it worth to risk relations with Moscow for the sake of such uncertain support from the West?...
August 20, 2008 The HUMSEC (Human Security) Project
After the events of 11 September 2001, many countries in the Moslem world, including Azerbaijan, found themselves at the forefront of the struggle with al Qaeda and its affiliated groups. However, in the fever of the ‘War on Terror’, many governments in the Middle East and Central Asia ignored the role of other terrorist organizations and that of home-grown radicalism. This paper examines the activities of foreign terrorist groups in Azerbaijan. The essay also tries to look at local radicalism in the area and explain its appearance and impact on the country’s development....
December 6, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles:
- AQAP’s Soft Power Strategy in Yemen
- Developing Policy Options for the
AQAP Threat in Yemen
- The Role of Non-Violent Islamists
- The Evolution of Iran’s Special
Groups in Iraq
- Fragmentation in the North Caucasus
- Assessing the Success of Leadership
- Revolution Muslim:
Downfall or Respite?
In the five years since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has solidified a trend of supplying high technology weapons and millions of dollars in military assistance to allies in the "war on terror." Support for the United States - either in its quest to stamp out international terrorist networks, or for its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - seems to take precedence over other criteria usually taken into account when the United States considers an arms transfer. According to standing tenets of U.S. arms export policy, arms transfers should not undermine long-term security and stability, weaken democratic movements, support military coups, escalate arms races, exacerbate ongoing conflicts, cause arms build-ups in unstable regions, or be used to commit human rights abuses. However, in the last five years, the Bush administration has demonstrated a willingness to provide weapons and military training to weak and failing states and countries that have been repeatedly criticized by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations, lack of democracy, and even support of terrorism. To thoroughly evaluate and analyze this trend of increased military assistance, the Challenging Conve#ntional Threats project at CDI has, since 2001, profiled countries that have a unique role in the "war on terror," through the strategic services they have provided to the United States as it conducts anti-terror operations across the globe. The series features analysis of the current political situations in the profiled countries, taking into account other indicators of the relative stability and openness of the country, such as military expenditures, total number of armed forces, and the human rights situation as assessed by the U.S. State Department, alongside an evaluation of U.S. military assistance to these countries over the past 17 years - the post-Cold War years....
December 11, 2006 British Broadcasting Corporation
Situated in south-western Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh is a richly fertile area of striking beauty scarred by its violent history. The word Karabakh has Turkic and Persian roots and means "black garden". The word Nagorno is Russian and means mountainous.
As a Caspian littoral state, Azerbaijan is capitalizing upon the Sea's sizeable, but still mostly untapped, hydrocarbon resources. Azerbaijan's real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an impressive 26 percent to $13 billion in 2005 as foreign investors pushed ahead with major projects in Azerbaijan (see Azerbaijan Production Sharing Agreements for more information). Foreign direct investment in the country contracted from $2.3 billion in 2004 to just under $500 million in 2005 largely due to the completion of construction on the BTC pipeline in Azerbaijan. In the next couple years favorable real GDP growth is expected, but maintaining low inflation rates as energy and transit revenues flow into the country represents a major challenge....
The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation....
May 26, 2006 United Nations // Electronic Mine Information Network
The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) was established in compliance with a Presidential Decree issued in July 1998, as a national agency to oversee all mine/unexploded ordnance-related issues in the country. Subsequently, in April 1999, an agreement was signed between the Government of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on providing financial and technical support to the joint Azerbaijan Mine Action Programme.
The Caucasus is the theatre of several internal and regional armed conflicts. It is a strategic oil region crossed by pipelines linking the Caspian to the Black Sea, in which Moscow maintains a military presence. The republics of the northern Caucasus are a kaleidoscope of ethno-linguistic families.
August 31, 2004 European Centre for Minority Issues
The Ethnopolitical Map of Europe is intended to cover those regions in Europe, including the Balkans, the Baltic Sea area and the Caucasus, which are currently facing or have recently experienced ethnopolitical tension or conflict. The clickable map is guiding the users to official documents which reflect international involvement in the reduction of ethnopolitical tension and resolution of interethnic conflicts in different countries and regions of Europe. Further, the map provides information on population statistics, current national legislation and relevant literature on the ethnopolitical situation in those countries. ...
June 16, 2009 Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Some 15 years have passed since a ceasefire was signed in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, yet the people forced out of their homes by the fighting have still not found peace. They still suffer from homesickness, poverty, discomfort and legal difficulties.
Refugees in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Karabakh – a majority-Armenian territory that broke free of Azeri control with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and unilaterally declared independence – have told IWPR how they feel abandoned in the student hostels, old hotels, schools and offices they now call home.
“Refugees today would like to forget that they are refugees, but this does not happen. What we lived through is unforgettable,” Sarasar Sarian, an Armenian from Baku now living in Karabakh, told IWPR.
Ethnic tensions between Armenians and Azeris boiled over in the late 1980s, when the Karabakh Armenians petitioned Moscow to detach their region from Azerbaijan and cede it to Armenia. Reciprocal demonstrations in Baku turned violent, leading to violence in Karabakh and Armenia. Riots between the two communities forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee each others’ countries, although at that time they were all citizens of the Soviet Union.
With independence in 1991 came war. At the ceasefire in May 1994, Armenian forces were occupying 14 per cent of Azerbaijan proper. At least 800,000 Azeris had fled to Azerbaijan from Armenia and parts of their own country seeking safety.
Since the war is not technically over, these people are still desperately hoping one day they can return to their homes....
In a time of shooting wars, it is easy to lose sight of wars waiting to happen. This is dangerous, especially for a new US administration with an ample international agenda. Serious attention is required on Nagorno Karabakh, the simmering dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The danger of another open war in the Caucasus - one much worse than the August conflict between Russia and Georgia - is all too real. Frustration in Azerbaijan with a seemingly endless multilateral mediation effort has led opposition factions and, more recently, even the government to speak openly of a military option to restore Karabakh to Azeri sovereignty. The country's oil and gas earnings have reequipped its military, although with untested results. Russia recently sent a massive arms shipment to Armenia, while the Karabakh Armenians reportedly interpret the failure of Georgia's military last August as proof that Azerbaijan's army would fare no better in an assault on Karabakh or in a preventive war launched by the Armenian side. These views are dangerous and are riddled with error. The prevention needed is diplomatic, from Washington and Moscow working in tandem.
The apparent reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey announced on April 23, while very positive in itself, has largely ground to a halt. Ankara is unwilling, and politically unable, to move substantively in its ties with Yerevan without at least the appearance of movement on Karabakh. Unfortunately, the positive atmospherics of the meeting of the Armenian and Azeri presidents in Prague May 7 quickly dissipated in mutual accusations of bad faith. Experienced observers have seen this on-again, off-again process many times. Without progress on Karabakh, progress between Turkey and Armenia will be limited to symbolism at best....
A poll of seven majority Muslim nations finds people conflicted about the United Nations. On one hand there is widespread support for a more active UN with much broader powers than it has today. On the other hand, there is a perception that the UN is dominated by the US and there is dissatisfaction with UN performance on several fronts, particularly in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These are the findings from a WorldPublicOpinion.org survey in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Indonesia, the Palestinian Territories, and Azerbaijan. Muslims in Nigeria (50% of the general population) were also polled. The survey was conducted in two waves in 2008. Overall, 6,175 respondents were interviewed in the first wave and 5,363 in the second; a total of 11,538 respondents participated in the study. The first wave was conducted January 12-February 18, 2008 though in two nations it was completed in late 2006. The second wave for all nations was completed July 21-August 31, 2008.Margins of error range from +/-2 to 5 percent. Not all questions were asked in all countries....
September 11, 2008 The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program // Johns Hopkins University
The August 17 explosion in Baku’s Abu Bekr Mosque created fears of political and religious uncertainty in Azerbaijan. Now, the Ministry of National Security and the General Prosecutor’s Office have issued a joint statement, saying that the crime has been resolved and that persons accused of committing the crime have been identified and apprehended. During the investigation, 13 persons were arrested, and much military hardware, maps, explosions, and terrorist textbooks were confiscated. According to the statement, the terrorist act was carried out by a resident of Azerbaijan’s Zagataladistrict, Ilgar Mollachiyev, also known as the “Emir of the Dagestani Jamaat Abdulmejid”; his relative, Samir Mehtiyev, aka “Suleyman”, and several other persons affiliated with them. Mollachiyev and Mehtiyev belong to the active terrorist organization “Forest Brothers”. 17 members of this organization, including the religious leader Naif Abdulkerim Al-Bedevi, aka “Abu Jafar” were arrested in 2007 by the Ministry of National Security, accused of terrorism and sentenced to jail terms. Apparently, Mollachiyev and Mehtiyev attempted to restore the activity of this organization and organize terrorist acts in order to destabilize the situation in the country. The arrested members of the radical organization have confessed to their terror. Accordingly, a first team, called the “Sumgait Jamaat” sought to steal money in Baku and purchase military equipment; while a second team, called the “Guba-Gusar Jamaat”, was to organize military camps in the Northern regions. Fighting against these radicals continued for several days, and Dagestani law enforcement bodies actively helped the Azerbaijani police. One member of the Azerbaijani special services was killed, and several were wounded. The Azerbaijani opposition press speculated that Russia pushed these Dagestani-based radicals into Azerbaijan to repeat the Georgian scenario in the country. If indeed this organization is responsible for the explosion in Abu Bekr mosque, then the arrest of their members shows that the Azerbaijani law enforcement bodies indeed control the situation in the country and that the stability of the regime should not be doubted. In the past, some political analysts have doubted whether arrested radicals have been exactly those forces that perpetrated attempted or successful terror acts....
Azeri officials affirm their commitment to the alliance, although a professional, civilian-administered military is still a long way off. Azerbaijan is pressing ahead with plans to overhaul the country's armed forces in order to bring them up to North Atlantic Treaty Organization standards. The pace of reforms will be gradual, according to senior government officials, who are quick to point out that Azerbaijan remains locked in an unresolved conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory....
The landmine/unexploded ordinance (UXO) problem in Azerbaijan can be divided into the areas of Azerbaijan that are still under the occupation of Armenian forces and those areas that have been liberated. The project is designed to create indigenous capacity to undertake survey, mapping and clearance in currently liberated areas and to prepare for dealing with the UXO problem in occupied areas after their liberation.
Building strong socio-economic foundations and promoting economic development is one of the major elements of strategic peacebuilding. Since 1999 International Alert has been working with business people from both conflict zones and multinational corporations to help them contribute to the creation of a stable political climate.
March 18, 2011 United Nations Mine Action Service // United Nations Development Programme // United Nations Children’s Fund
The Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a resource tool and reference document for donors, policy-makers, advocates, and national and international mine action implementers. The country and territory-specific proposals in the portfolio reflect strategic responses developed in the field to address all aspects of the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This country and territory-based approach aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of the full range of mine action needs in particular countries and thematic issues related to mine action. The portfolio ideally reflects projects developed by mine- and ERW-affected countries and territories based on their priorities and strategies; the approaches are endorsed by national authorities. The portfolio does not automatically entail full-scale direct mine action assistance by the United Nations, but is in essence a tool for collaborative resource mobilization, coordination and planning of mine action activities involving partners and stakeholders. A country portfolio coordinator (CPC) leads each country portfolio team and coordinates the submission of proposals to the portfolio’s headquarters team. While the majority of the CPCs are UN officials, this role is increasingly being assumed by national authorities. The country portfolio teams include representatives from national and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and the private sector. Locally based donor representatives are invited to attend preparation meetings. Each portfolio chapter contains a synopsis of the scope of the landmine and ERW problem, a description of how mine action is coordinated, and a snapshot of local mine action strategies. Many of the strategies complement or are integrated into broader development and humanitarian frameworks such as national development plans, the UN development assistance frameworks and national poverty reduction plans. This 14th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects features overviews and project outlines for 29 countries, territories or missions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. There are 238 projects in the 2011 portfolio. Africa accounts for the largest number: 92....
Poor conflict-affected countries tend to have large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and, in at least some cases, large numbers of refugees. But the figures should be treated with caution; in some cases, such as Angola and Sierra Leone, governments simply decided that there are no longer IDPs, even if in fact many of those displaced by the conflicts have yet to find durable solutions. It is important to note that displacement is not confined to poor conflict affected states, but it is also a characteristic of some middle income countries, some of which have stable governments, such as Georgia, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Syria and Turkey.
This report was prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011. It explores patterns of displacement and the linkages between armed conflict and education. Some recommendations include:
• That UN agencies and civil society organizations provide necessary technical support to governments to adopt the necessary laws and policies to ensure that IDPs and refugees have access to education.
• That UN agencies, NGOs and bilateral donors ensure that programs developed to provide education to IDPs and refugees take into consideration the broader context of DACs, for example in ensuring that host and return communities are supported in their efforts to provide educational opportunities to the displaced or returnees.
• That GMR highlight the importance of humanitarian and development actors working together to develop ways to re-establish educational systems in post-conflict settings....
An arms race, escalating front-line clashes, vitriolic war
rhetoric and a virtual breakdown in peace talks are increasing
the chance Armenia and Azerbaijan will go back
to war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Preventing this is urgent.
Increased military capabilities on both sides would make
a new armed conflict in the South Caucasus far more
deadly than the 1992-1994 one that ended with a shaky
truce. Neither side would be likely to win easily or quickly.
Regional alliances could pull in Russia, Turkey and Iran.
Vital oil and gas pipelines near the front lines would be
threatened, as would the cooperation between Russia and
Turkey that is central to regional stability. Another refugee
crisis would be likely. To start reversing this dangerous
downward trend, the opposing sides should sign a
document on basic principles for resolving the conflict
peacefully and undertake confidence-building steps to
reduce tensions and avert a resumption of fighting.
There has been significant deterioration over the past year.
Neither government is planning an all-out offensive in the
near term, but skirmishes that already kill 30 people a
year could easily spiral out of control. It is unclear if the
leaders in Yerevan and Baku thoroughly calculate the potential
consequences of a new round of tit-for-tat attacks.
Ambiguity and lack of transparency about operations
along the line of contact, arms deals and other military
expenditures and even the state of the peace talks all contribute
to a precarious situation. Monitoring mechanisms
should be strengthened and confidence-building steps
implemented to decrease the chance of an accidental war....
January 13, 2011 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre // Norwegian Refugee Council
Over 586,000 people remain internally displaced in Azerbaijan after the Nagorno-Karabakh war
ended with a ceasefire in 1994. The figure includes approximately 230,000 children born to internally
displaced people (IDPs) since they fled their homes. Insecurity near the line of contact with
Armenia continues to disrupt the livelihoods of IDPs and others who live nearby.
IDPs’ main concern, however, is their inadequate living conditions. Many still live in dilapidated
public buildings and makeshift accommodation, some with poor security of tenure. The government
has resettled some IDPs into new, purpose-built settlements, but while these offer better
conditions, they are often far from neighbouring towns and offer insufficient access to services,
jobs or livelihoods. Most IDPs have yet to benefit from this scheme and there is increasing disparity
in the living conditions of IDPs.
IDPs are more often unemployed than their non-displaced neighbours and the majority continue
to depend on government benefits as their main source of income. Limited finances prevent
some from accessing health care services and education despite provisions ensuring their free
access. IDPs continue to suffer mental health issues relating to their displacement and experiences
during the war, and there is a lack of appropriate and affordable support. Specific and expanded
measures are required to improve their self-reliance and decrease the pattern of dependency.
Return remains the preferred settlement option for many IDPs and for the government. Some
younger IDPs, however, say they would prefer to stay in their current places of residence even if
return were a viable option. While the government has allocated significant attention and resources
to improving the lives of IDPs, a better national response would entail efforts to engage
IDPs on issues that affect them and to amend regulations and practices that prevent IDPs from
enjoying a normal life at their current residence....
The Azerbaijani government is using criminal laws and violent attacks to silence dissenting journalists, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Dozens of journalists have been prosecuted on criminal and civil defamation and other criminal charges. Police have carried out physical attacks on journalists, deliberately interfering with their efforts to investigate issues of public interest.
The government should free imprisoned journalists and repeal criminal libel laws that allow public officials and others to bring criminal charges against journalists and activists, Human Rights Watch said. It also should prosecute violence or threats against reporters, which now go unpunished. The attacks on free speech threaten to undermine the legitimacy of parliamentary elections scheduled for November 7, 2010, Human Rights Watch said.
"A vibrant public debate is crucial to free and fair elections," said Giorgi Gogia, South Caucasus researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. "But you can't have a free and fair vote when the people who report the news are in jail or have been harassed into silence."
At least nine journalists have fled Azerbaijan in the last three years seeking political asylum abroad.
Human Rights Watch has documented restrictions on freedom of expression in Azerbaijan for many years. For this report, Human Rights Watch interviewed over 37 print and radio journalists and editors in June 2010.
Azerbaijan abolished official state censorship in 1998. However, the government has used other, less obvious means to restrict freedom of expression and the media. In addition to prosecutions and police violence, legislative amendments in 2009 restricted journalists' ability to use video, photo or sound recording without explicit consent of the individual being recorded or filmed, even at public events. The government also banned all foreign radio broadcasting on FM frequencies. Unnecessary restrictions should be removed, and the foreign broadcasts should be allowed to resume, Human Rights Watch said.
In the past several years, state officials have brought dozens of defamation charges against journalists, and in some cases, against human rights defenders who criticize the government or who otherwise work to secure accountability for human rights violations in Azerbaijan....