Russia blames Armenia for breakdown of Azerbaijan peace talks | Politics News

Over the previous few months, Russia and Armenia’s relationship has turn out to be fraught with pressure over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area.

Russia has blamed Armenia for a breakdown in peace talks with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area within the newest signal of friction between Moscow and Yerevan over the battle.

For months, Armenia and Azerbaijan, each former Soviet republics, have tried to debate a peace deal for the contested area within the South Caucasus.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as a part of Azerbaijan however is dwelling to a primarily ethnic Armenian inhabitants. The 2 neighbour’s battle over the area started initially of the twentieth century and has damaged out into struggle twice, the most recent in 2020.

Moscow on Thursday accused Armenia of bailing on peace talks and requested Yerevan to return to the negotiating desk.

Russian international ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned: “It’s troublesome to evaluate Yerevan’s place when their official statements differ so considerably.”

She mentioned Armenia’s choice to desert peace talks scheduled in December in Moscow “prevented us from discussing the peace treaty”.

“If our Armenian companions are actually all in favour of fixing these issues, … then as a substitute of participating in scholasticism, it’s essential to proceed working collectively,” Zakharova mentioned.

A village in the Nagorno-Karabakh region
The village of Taghavard in Nagorno-Karabakh was divided between Azerbaijan and Armenia after the Second Nagorno-Karbakh Conflict in 2020 [File: Artem MikryukovReuters]

Rising tensions

For the previous month, Azerbaijani civilians who say they’re environmental activists have protested alongside the Lachin hall, the one highway linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. Yerevan has referred to as the motion an Azerbaijani government-endorsed blockade.

Baku says the group has reliable considerations over suspected illegal Armenian mining initiatives and has denied that the area is blocked.

The difficulty has induced pressure within the relationship between allies Armenia and Russia. Yerevan has repeatedly criticised Russia’s peacekeepers, who’ve been positioned on the Lachin hall since 2020 to make sure free motion. Armenia has mentioned they don’t seem to be doing sufficient to ease the bottleneck. However Moscow has mentioned it’s doing all the things doable.

On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan mentioned: “Russia’s army presence in Armenia not solely fails to ensure its safety, but it surely raises safety threats for Armenia.”

On the identical day, Armenia introduced it might not host army drills by the Russian-led alliance of post-Soviet states, the Collective Safety Treaty Organisation (CTSO).

Pashinyan mentioned it might be “unreasonable to carry CTSO workouts on the territory of Armenia”.

Regardless of the cancelled drills, the Kremlin mentioned Yerevan stays a “shut ally” and it deliberate to ask Armenia to make clear its place.

Russia rejects Zelenskyy’s ‘peace formula’: Lavrov | Russia-Ukraine war News

Zelenskyy has been selling a 10-point peace plan that envisages Russia restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Russia has rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “peace system” as a foundation for negotiations and believes Kyiv continues to be not prepared for actual peace talks, International Minister Sergey Lavrov informed state-run RIA information company.

Lavrov additionally stated Kyiv’s hopes of driving Russia out of jap Ukraine and Crimea with Western assist have been “an phantasm”, the company reported on Thursday. The veteran Russian diplomat’s feedback characterize the newest proof of the gulf in positions between Moscow and Kyiv, and the way far the 2 governments are from any practical probability of talks geared toward ending the struggle, now in its eleventh month.

Hours after Lavrov’s rejection of Zelenskyy’s proposal, Ukrainian officers stated the nation got here below heavy Russian missile assault, with explosions in large cities, together with capital Kyiv and Kharkiv.

Zelenskyy has been vigorously pushing a 10-point peace plan that envisages Russia respecting and restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and pulling out all its troops.

However Moscow has insisted Kyiv should first settle for Russia’s annexation of Luhansk and Donetsk within the east, and Kherson and Zaporizhia within the south. There will be no peace plan “that doesn’t take note of in the present day’s realities concerning Russian territory, with the entry of 4 areas into Russia”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated.

On Thursday, Lavrov stated Russia would proceed to construct up its preventing energy and technological capabilities in Ukraine. He additionally emphasised that mobilised troops had undergone “critical coaching” and whereas many have been now on the bottom, the bulk weren’t but on the entrance.

Lavrov additionally stated his nation’s army is engaged on new plans to chop off provides of weapons and ammunition despatched from overseas for the Ukrainian forces.

The Russian overseas minister’s statements seem to contradict President Vladimir Putin’s current feedback suggesting a willingness to return to diplomacy. America and Ukraine had dubbed Putin’s statements as insincere.

Ukraine, in the meantime, has sought a peace summit led by the United Nations by February. Over the previous two months, Zelenskyy has urged the leaders of the G20 and G7 groupings to assist his concept for the summit, which he stated would give attention to his peace plan “as a complete or some particular factors specifically”.

On Monday, Zelenskyy spoke about his peace system to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose nation will head the G20 over the subsequent yr. Whereas India’s authorities has not commented on Zelenskyy’s plan, Modi informed the Ukrainian chief that New Delhi would assist any initiative geared toward ending the battle by way of diplomacy. Zelenskyy later tweeted that he was “relying on” India’s assist for his plan.

Zelenskyy additionally mentioned the plan with US President Joe Biden throughout his go to to Washington, DC in December. On Wednesday, Zelenskyy informed his nation’s parliament to stay united and praised Ukrainians for serving to the West “discover itself once more”.

“Our nationwide colors are in the present day a global image of braveness and indomitability of the entire world,” he stated in an annual speech held behind closed doorways.

Justice in Ethiopia must not be killed by a peace deal | Conflict

In early November, the worldwide group welcomed nearly unanimously the peace settlement between the federal government of Ethiopia and the Tigray Folks’s Liberation Entrance (TPLF) signed in Pretoria. However whereas the deal is a optimistic step, an announcement of intent to silence the weapons, some exhausting questions stay.

Specifically, the problem of accountability for the litany of warfare crimes and crimes towards humanity dedicated in Tigray stays largely unaddressed. For the reason that begin of the battle in November 2020, over 500,000 have died within the preventing or from famine and lack of well being care. Greater than 5 million have been put beneath siege and intentionally starved; tens of hundreds have been sexually assaulted; and nicely over 2 million have been displaced attributable to preventing and ethnic cleaning.

But, the peace deal does little for the victims of the violence who need justice. Its provisions on accountability for felony atrocities are too loosely formulated. The settlement mentions that the Ethiopian authorities will undertake “a complete nationwide transitional justice coverage geared toward accountability, ascertaining the reality, redress for victims, reconciliation, and therapeutic, in keeping with the Structure [of Ethiopia] and the African Union Transitional Justice Coverage Framework”.

This assertion is just too common and open to interpretation and offers sufficient house to the Ethiopian authorities to dodge accountability and by no means actually provoke a transitional justice course of that can maintain warfare criminals accountable.

There have already been early indicators that there is no such thing as a political will to hunt accountability. One simply has to take a look at the battle of the Worldwide Fee of Human Rights Specialists on Ethiopia (ICHREE), which was tasked with investigating atrocity crimes within the warfare in Tigray. The fee has been undermined systematically from the very begin.

When ICHREE was created, the Ethiopian authorities sought to forestall it from getting funding. It failed, however the price range allotted to the fee was nonetheless not sufficient to make sure it capabilities correctly.

When ICHREE began work, it reported affected by “time and staffing constraints”, as six positions inside its secretariate had been lower. Worse nonetheless, it didn’t have the total cooperation of the native authorities and was denied entry to websites of alleged atrocities in Ethiopia. It even complained that its requests to different UN entities for “paperwork and supplies of curiosity [were] largely deflected, or responded to after an inordinate delay”.

The Joint Investigation Group (JIT), comprised of members of the Ethiopian Human Rights Fee and the Workplace of the UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), was additionally gradual to share its inside database, the ICHREE reported.

The fee has confronted all these makes an attempt to undermine its work although it’s investigating alleged crimes by all sides of the battle and never simply the federal government’s forces and their allies. And its report launched in September displays that.

It states that “the Fee has cheap grounds to imagine that members of the [Ethiopian National Defence Forces] dedicated the next warfare crimes: violence to life and individual, particularly homicide; outrages on human dignity, particularly humiliating or degrading therapy; deliberately directing assaults towards the civilian inhabitants and civilian objects; pillage; rape; sexual slavery; sexual violence; and deliberately utilizing hunger of civilians as a way of warfare. The Fee has cheap grounds to imagine that Tigrayan forces dedicated the identical warfare crimes, apart from sexual slavery and hunger of civilians as a way of warfare, whatever the scale of violations.”

The report additional states that the Ethiopian military and its allies have “dedicated widespread acts of rape and sexual violence towards Tigrayan ladies and ladies. In some cases, the attackers expressed an intent to render the victims infertile and used dehumanising language that instructed an intent to destroy the Tigrayan ethnicity. Tigrayan Forces have additionally dedicated acts of rape and sexual violence, albeit on a smaller scale.”

At a September assembly of the UN Human Rights Council, representatives of the fee concluded: “the horrific and dehumanising acts of violence dedicated throughout the battle…appear to transcend mere intent to kill and, as a substitute, mirror a want to destroy.”

In mild of those findings, it isn’t shocking that the Ethiopian authorities is afraid of the ICHREE inquiry and that’s the reason it is not going to and can’t lead an accountability course of for warfare atrocity crimes utilizing the Ethiopian authorized system.

Nonetheless, the accountability course of is being undermined not solely by Addis Ababa, but additionally by regional gamers. The three African members of the UN Safety Council – Kenya, Gabon and Ghana (often known as the A3) – have constantly blocked Safety Council motion on the battle in Tigray.

But, it isn’t of their curiosity or within the curiosity of the African Union to take action. Justice and accountability are immediately tied to peace in Ethiopia and therefore stability within the area. That’s the reason, the A3 and the African Union must assist this investigation.

There are a selection of steps that should be taken to ensure a good accountability course of in Ethiopia.

First, the ICREE needs to be supported with all the mandatory funding and mandate extensions to hold out its work of investigating and documenting atrocities in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian authorities needs to be pressured into giving entry to websites of curiosity and cooperating with the investigation.

Second, the Worldwide Prison Court docket needs to be concerned within the accountability course of. Ethiopia is just not a state occasion to the Rome Statute, however the UN Safety Council may and may refer the case to the ICC. Russia and China may block this transfer, as they’ve finished up to now with resolutions the Ethiopian authorities has opposed.

If this occurs, there’s nonetheless a method to get ICC concerned – if the authorities in Addis Ababa settle for its jurisdiction beneath Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. That after all would solely occur beneath main worldwide stress.

Third, the African Union may spearhead the accountability course of by establishing a hybrid tribunal in one other African nation. It did that for the prosecution of former Chadian President Hissène Habré, who stood trial in Senegal in 2015. This might guarantee adherence to worldwide truthful trial requirements and deflect stress to keep up impunity for warfare criminals.

Accountability and justice are highly effective instruments to forestall the repetition of atrocities and conflicts sooner or later. Correctly investigating atrocities after which beginning an accountability course of is the one method to assure lasting peace in Ethiopia. The Pretoria peace deal is not going to maintain lengthy with out these steps.

Already, there are indicators that peace is being undermined. Abductions and killings of Tigrayan civilians proceed and violence in different components of the nation has not come to a halt. A profitable transitional justice course of in Tigray wouldn’t solely solidify peace but additionally pave the wave for such processes in different components of the nation which have been in battle and seen mass killings, akin to Oromia.

Victims of the warfare in Tigray and elsewhere in Ethiopia have already suffered immensely. They have to not be robbed of their rights to justice and redress.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

Colombia and ELN rebels agree to restart peace talks | Politics News

Officers say Norway, Venezuela and Cuba can be “guarantor states” and civil society teams can be “important”.

Colombia’s authorities and the left-wing Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) insurgent group have introduced that they may reestablish peace talks that had been suspended in 2018.

Delegations of Colombia’s authorities and the ELN will restart negotiations after the primary week of November, the events mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday signed by ELN commanders Antonio Garcia and Pablo Beltran in addition to the nation’s excessive commissioner for peace, Danilo Rueda.

“For Colombia’s authorities and the ELN, society’s participation on this course of is important within the adjustments that Colombia must construct peace,” in response to the assertion, which was launched Tuesday throughout a information convention in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.

The assertion additionally added that Norway, Venezuela and Cuba can be “guarantor states” within the talks and that the participation of civil society teams can be “important” for the peace talks to succeed.

Rueda had travelled to Cuba to fulfill ELN representatives in Havana simply days after the August inauguration of Gustavo Petro, the primary left-wing president to steer Colombia.

“We expect that, with this chance, Colombia’s new political circumstances have allowed negotiations to restart,” Garcia advised journalists Tuesday.

Members of the Colombian National Liberation Army with a delegation from the Colombian government in talks to revive a peace initiative.
Members of the Colombian Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN), from left, Aureliano Carbonel, Pablo Beltran and Antonio Garcia sit with Ivan Danilo Rueda, excessive commissioner for peace on behalf of the Colombian authorities, second from proper, and authorities consultant Ivan Cepeda, throughout the signing ceremony agreeing to renew peace talks [Ariana Cubillos/AP]

Requested about the potential for a bilateral ceasefire, Rueda mentioned the events had been nonetheless “in a part of constructing belief” and that no matter is agreed upon will probably be by either side and will probably be fulfilled.

Earlier makes an attempt at negotiations with the ELN, which has an estimated 2,400-4,000 combatants and is accused of financing itself via drug trafficking, unlawful mining and kidnapping, haven’t superior partly due to dissent inside its ranks.

Representatives of the ELN, which was based in 1964 by radical Catholic clergymen, remained in Cuba after earlier talks, begun beneath the federal government of former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, had been referred to as off in 2019.

Following a 2016 peace deal between the Colombian authorities and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the ELN turned the nation’s largest remaining armed group. Since then, it has elevated its actions in territories that had been previously beneath FARC management. The group is thought for staging kidnappings for ransom and assaults on oil infrastructure and has been listed as a terrorist organisation by the USA and the European Union.

Petro has mentioned discussions might start the place these with the Santos administration left off and that he would recognise the protocols agreed with assist from guarantor international locations reminiscent of Norway and Venezuela.

Antonio Garcia talking to the press after the talks were held.
Antonio Garcia, of the Colombian armed group Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN), chatting with the press after signing the settlement [Ariana Cubillos/AP]

Talks between the ELN and the Santos authorities started in Ecuador in 2016, later shifting to Cuba, however had been referred to as off by Santos’ successor Ivan Duque as a result of the ELN refused to halt hostilities and killed 22 police cadets in a Bogota bomb assault.

A date and site for the renewed talks haven’t but been introduced, although Garcia advised that totally different phases of the negotiations may very well be held in Cuba, Norway and Venezuela.

Within the press convention that adopted the assembly between either side, Rueda mentioned that the ELN had proven adjustments in its behaviour which had enabled it to achieve the federal government’s belief. Rueda mentioned that the insurgent group had not too long ago launched hostages and scaled again assaults towards the Colombian army.

The ELN didn’t disclose any particulars on what it could search in change for laying down its weapons. However the commander, Garcia, hinted that the group was searching for political and financial adjustments.

“The best way to search for peace isn’t just by desirous about weapons however by attacking the basis causes of this battle that are inequality and the shortage of democracy,” Garcia mentioned.