The Order of Ahepa International President Savas C. Tsivicos issued a statement on the recent increased human suffering in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
Ahepa was founded in 1922 to combat the injustices and racial discrimination inflicted on the Greek immigrants of that time. By partnering with other groups in the United States (B’Nai B’rith, the NAACP, and the Order of Sons of Italy as examples) Ahepa brought about noticeable changes for our immigrant forbearers.
“We strongly condemn the ethnic cleansing of more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians who were expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan in recent weeks. We stand with the people of Armenia and Armenia’s diaspora during this horrific time of gross human rights violations and war atrocities committed by Azerbaijan, disrupting peace and stability in that region”.
The world is always in need of conflict resolution but when lives hang in the balance, people must speak out. The Order of AHEPA advocates for an immediate ceasefire between parties on the
Nagorno-Karabakh region. The death of innocent women and children has left many families devastated. The actors in the region are called upon to immediately restore peace in the region so that the victims of this genocide can return safely to their homes.
The Supreme President went on to say “Having witnessed the ravages of a war torn country like my home in Cyprus, I am appalled at the lack of attention to this matter both on a national and international scale. We call for the immediate ceasefire and end to hostilities causing such loss of human life. Politics, greed and corruption have reared its ugly head in this region and we extend our compassion and prayers to our Armenian brothers and sisters”. The expulsion follows military attacks by Azerbaijan in mid-September to regain control over Nagorno-Karabakh and a nine-month blockade of a main corridor that resulted in a severe shortage of food, medicine, and other essential goods and supplies, and cut-off utilities, that left Armenians devastated.
AHEPA has worked with several Armenian American organizations (Armenian National Committee of America and the Armenian Assembly of America) in hopes of bringing attention to this issue. Our friends at the Armenian Assembly of America can be found at: https://action.aaainc.org/ where they have outlined their plan of attack on this issue. Our friends at the Armenian National Committee of America can be found at: https://www.votervoice.net/ANCA/Campaigns/107733/Respond. The Supreme President is asking all our of 400 chapters (our Army of volunteers) to visit these web sites and investigate how best they can assist our brothers and sisters in need at this time.
Respect for human rights, including for ethnic minorities, and international law must be upheld as sacrosanct. The government of Azerbaijan’s word cannot be trusted given its abysmal human rights record. It must be held accountable. Therefore, we call for the international community, led by the United States, to properly record the human rights abuses and other crimes committed by Azerbaijan and applaud Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Ben Cardin’s call for the U.S. to halt security assistance to Azerbaijan. The entities that will participate in talks with Azerbaijan going forward must ensure and protect the right of return of ethnic Armenians to Nagorno-Karabakh, whether it be temporarily or for the long-term, should they choose to do so. International monitoring must be in place to report on the conditions of ethnic Armenians that have remained or would happen to choose to return to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Basil N. Mossaidis
Order of AHEPA