STEPANAKERT: A new ceasefire agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan to halt fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh was again failing to hold on Monday (Oct 19) as both sides accused each other of fresh attacks.
The truce, backed by international mediators to put a stop to three weeks of fighting that has left hundreds dead, was supposed to have come into force at midnight but both sides immediately accused each other of violating the deal.
But it has never been recognised by any other state, including Armenia, while Azerbaijan has always made clear its desire to regain control in one of the most combustible conflicts left after the fall of the USSR.
The Azerbaijani defence ministry said Monday that Armenian armed forces had shelled areas in four districts inside the country overnight.
Meanwhile, the local authorities in Karabakh said Azerbaijani artillery fire continued overnight, with the Karabakh army taking "proportionate actions" in response.
However Nagorno-Karabakh's main city Stepanakert was quiet overnight, an AFP correspondent said.
The ceasefire was the second agreed after a previous truce thrashed out in Moscow earlier this month never showed any sign of seriously holding.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who has acted as a mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan in negotiating both ceasefires, said on Monday the continued fighting was "unacceptable."
He said the warring sides and international players should "immediately stop ratcheting up confrontational rhetoric" and reiterated the importance of putting in place ceasefire monitoring mechanisms.
"We are working on this," he added following talks with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev accused Armenian forces of "blatantly" violating the ceasefire, including firing on residential areas, and said there were dead and wounded.
Writing on Twitter, he said Azerbaijani forces had taken control of 13 more Armenian-held settlements.
Azerbaijan has repeatedly claimed military success in the current fighting by taking control of areas both within Karabakh and other Azerbaijani territory that had been held by Armenian forces.
But analysts say Azerbaijan is unlikely to be able to retake control of Karabakh through military mRead More – Source
Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh receive Covid-19 vaccine
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh have received their Covid-19 vaccinations, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Saturday.
Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
Tech7 months ago
Search engine startup asks users to be the customer, not the product
Europe1 month ago
Covid: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK virus threat
Health1 month ago
Spain ‘to register’ those who refuse to have Covid-19 vaccine
Sports4 years ago
Boxing continues to knock itself out with bewildering, incorrect decisions
Sports4 years ago
Phillies’ Aaron Altherr makes mind-boggling barehanded play
Europe2 months ago
45 arrested across Europe and Brazil as authorities seize ‘record haul’ of cocaine
latest news8 months ago
Creepy technologies invade European post-pandemic workplaces
Sports4 years ago
Steph Curry finally got the contract he deserves from the Warriors