STATEMENT of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan on unmarked minefields in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan

As the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I am deeply concerned about the unmarked minefields in the territories of Azerbaijan which threaten the life, health, and safety of people.

Upon the tripartite statement signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia on 10 November 2020, the Armenia-Azerbaijan war which lasted 44 days came to an end. After the 30-year occupation, the occupied territories of Azerbaijan were liberated in compliance with international law.

However, besides the completely destroyed cities and villages, the Armenian armed forces left unmarked minefields in the liberated territories. Over 100,000 mines were planted in these lands in the period of occupation and Armenia still refuses to share the maps of these mines.

After the end of the war, there have already been about a dozen cases when not only military servants but also civilians were killed or injured in these mines. Since the end of the war, 10 civilians were killed, and 11 civilians were severely wounded due to these landmines so far.

The landmines can remain active for decades and pose a severe risk. They hamper the repatriation of internally displaced people and significantly slow down the reconstruction processes and development in a whole during the post-conflict period that would be a contribution to a long-standing stabilization not only in those liberated areas but in the entire region.

Armenia violates the IHL principle prohibiting indiscriminate attacks by using not only anti-vehicle mines against military objectives but also anti-personnel mines in all areas occupied and refuses to give a landmine map to Azerbaijan to obviate the latter the serious consequences of those mines.

Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (1949) prohibits the use of weapons which are by nature indiscriminate.

Armenia must unconditionally provide Azerbaijan with maps of mined areas in order to ensure the protection of the lives and health of the people.

I firmly call on all relevant international organizations to take immediate steps within their mandates to protect the lives and health of innocent people, to stop the violation of human rights. 


Sabina Aliyeva


Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman)

of the Republic of Azerbaijan


 12 March 2021