An Appeal for Peace in Armenia

We Demand Peace!

We, a group of people who stand for peace, from the post-Soviet space
and its neighborhood exhausted by never-ending wars and growing
imperialist rivalry on our territories, are full of rage as we have
observed Azerbaijan’s recent large-scale attack on Armenia. This,
coupled with Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine and the renewed
military clashes in border areas between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,
raises heavy concerns regarding possible future escalations not only
in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict but all other conflicts in the
post-Soviet space.

The recent attack on Armenia has costed hundreds of lives within two
days from both sides of the conflict, caused serious destruction to
civil infrastructure in Armenia, displaced thousands, and further
widened the gap between the countries and their people. We raise our
persistent voices against the continuing warfare.

The second Karabakh war two years ago was a devastating experience,
from which the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies have not yet
recovered and remain deeply antagonized. Officials need to finally
understand that military means cannot solve the conflict but they only
deepen the divide between the two countries and cause more violence
and human suffering. We welcome the truce that halted the violence on
September 15 and demand for permanent return to the negotiation table
without any further escalations or violence.

The Azerbaijani side should realize that the “corridors” cannot be
opened, and a peace treaty cannot be achieved through military
aggression. Such prospects are unacceptable for people whose daily
lives would presumably be crossed over by these “corridors,” as they
will not let borderland populations on both sides cooperate with each
other. No one can be forced into peace. Officials in Armenia, in turn,
should recognize the damage their rigid negotiation position had done
for over 30 years, including the displacement of hundreds of thousands
of Azerbaijanis, and their refusal to compromise and settle the
conflict in a timely manner.

Negotiations “mediated” behind closed doors, that do not take into
consideration the livelihood and human needs of people affected, are
doomed to fail. The best mediators for interstate negotiations are
non-state peace-oriented/peacebuilding communities of both countries
who have a great experience of overcoming their own disputes and
facilitating dialogues between other people from their countries with
antagonistic positions.

We see the clear connection of the developments in
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and peace processes with the dynamics of
the war in Ukraine. The deadly war in Ukraine has caused great
turbulence and instabilities in the wider region, exposing the simple
truth that violence creates more violence. There is no military
solution to any conflict and human life is of absolute value. The only
priority should be nonmilitary diplomatic solutions that are always
possible regardless of whatever statesmen try to convince us. The
inability or unwillingness of states to solve the problems through
non-violent means and ensure human security can no longer be

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we’ve lived through decades
of violence. We continue to suffer through regularly recurring warfare
on the territory of Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan,
and Kyrgyzstan. We are deeply concerned about overt attempts to reopen
the Moldovan/Transdniestrian, Georgian/Abkhaz and Georgian/Ossetian
conflicts. The confrontation between NATO and the Russian Federation
on the territory of Ukraine is playing out primarily at the expense of
lives of people in Ukraine and, increasingly, residents of Russian
regions adjacent to Ukraine. Moreover, hundreds of military men from
Ukraine and Russia are killed daily.

If we stay on the current trajectory, it is only a matter of time
until the ongoing and recurring warfare in different regions of
Eurasia will synergize with one another and with wars in other parts
of this world, turning into a bigger regional or global war and
sacrificing more and more people from numerous countries.

We cannot afford this! We do not call for peace – we demand peace! We
demand that governments commit to non-use of force, to engage in
genuine search for diplomatic solutions that prioritize human
security, and to stop interfering with, and better yet, support
people-to-people contacts and peacebuilding.

We demand that international actors involved in the official
negotiations ensure that the voices of people affected by conflict are
heard and that people-to-people negotiations and human security
considerations are at least on an equal footing with the official
negotiation process.

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