The ongoing battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan is bodily and emotionally distant to most Canadians, however for Montrealer Talar Chichmanian, the warfare is the second time because the 1990s her household has taken up arms.
Her husband left Montreal to affix the Armenian forces, who’ve been battling the Azerbaijani military since Sept. 27 in a warfare that has left a whole lot lifeless. This is his second warfare for a similar piece of land within the South Caucasus. The earlier battle, which resulted in 1994, killed his father, brother and uncle.
Members of the Armenian diaspora are recognized for being fiercely loyal to their dwelling nation, and so they stay haunted by the 1915 genocide dedicated in opposition to their individuals by the Ottoman Empire, or modern-day Turkey.
They concern the present battle, which they are saying is fuelled partially by Turkey, will result in one other genocide and are they calling on Canada to take a stronger place supporting the Armenian individuals.
“Normally, I’m proud to call myself a Canadian, but this past week has been a horrible disappointment,” Chichmanian mentioned in a latest interview from Montreal. “I don’t want tears on Remembrance Day; I need action today.”
Her two kids, who’re 12 and 9 years previous, are “terrified,” she mentioned. “There’s only so much that I can share with them. Their lives are already disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t want to stress them out even more.”
Armenian officers say Turkey is sending arms and Syrian mercenaries to assist Azerbaijan. Chichmanian mentioned she’d wish to see Canada push for Turkey’s elimination from NATO.
On Oct. 5, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne mentioned Canada had suspended exports of a drone-targeting sensor, made in Ontario, to Turkey, because it investigates allegations that drones outfitted with the sensor have been use by Azeri forces within the ongoing battle.
Champagne mentioned he spoke Friday to his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu. “My key message was stay out of the conflict,” Champagne informed reporters.
‘We’re decedents of the survivors’
Nearly half of the just about 64,000 individuals who recognized themselves as Armenian within the 2016 Canadian census reside within the Montreal space. While Armenians have built-in into Canadian society, Montrealer Taline Zourikian mentioned the group stays tight-knit.
“We don’t assimilate,” mentioned Zourikian, a psychiatrist who helped set up a protest in Montreal on Thursday. The roughly 50 individuals who gathered referred to as on the Canadian media to pay extra consideration to the battle.
“We’re decedents of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide,” she mentioned, referring to the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. Canada formally acknowledged and condemned the genocide in 2004.
🇨🇦& 🇬🇧 reiterate the pressing want to finish the army motion in & round Nagorno-Karabakh battle zone. <br><br>We urge all exterior events & associates of each states to redouble their efforts in assist of an finish to hostilities. Civilians have to be protected against violence. <a href=”https://twitter.com/DominicRaab?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@DominicRaab</a> <a href=”https://t.co/Pbk6Og55XB”>pic.twitter.com/Pbk6Og55XB</a>
The area at warfare, referred to as Nagorno-Karabakh, is majority Armenian and has been managed by the Armenian-backed Republic of Artsakh since 1994. But Artsakh’s authorities just isn’t acknowledged internationally and the territory is positioned inside Azerbaijan.
Kyle Matthews, the manager director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University, compares Turkey’s assist for Azerbaijan to Germany attacking Israel.
Turkey dedicated genocide in opposition to a minority and is now attacking that minority’s homeland, he mentioned. The Turkish authorities, Matthews added, has by no means acknowledged the Armenian genocide and has jailed individuals for bringing it up.
“The final stage of genocide is denial,” Matthews mentioned in a latest interview. “By being this aggressive, there’s fear that Turkey has ulterior motives in this conflict.
“There’s now documented proof that Turkey has been ferrying non secular, extremist fighters from Syria into Azerbaijan to combat Armenian forces,” said Matthews, who spent two years in the South Caucasus with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The arrival of those fighters is a concern for Lara Aharonian, an Armenian Montrealer who founded the Women’s Resource Center, an NGO that operates in Armenia and in Shusha, a city in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“It’s a direct menace to girls residing in border areas and battle zones,” she said in a phone interview from the Armenian capital Yerevan.
Aharonian and her husband, Raffi Niziblian, have been volunteering in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh since 1999. Her organization helps women overcome trauma from the previous conflict.
She said she’s worried about what will happen to the estimated 75,000 people who have been displaced by the current fighting amid of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a technology who has skilled displacement for the second time of their lives,” Aharonian said.
Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a Russia-brokered ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting Saturday, but immediately accused each other of derailing the deal.
Minutes after the truce took force, the Armenian military accused Azerbaijan of shelling the area near the town of Kapan in southeastern Armenia, killing one civilian. Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry rejected the Armenian accusations as a “provocation.”
Armenian Canadians say the Canadian government needs to do more before it’s too late.
Sevag Belian, the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, said in a phone interview Canada needs to condemn Turkey and Azerbaijan.
“Because if we do not maintain the aggressors accountable, they may proceed committing their crimes with impunity.” he mentioned.