Armenia should acknowledge mistakes, terrible actions of the past, analyst says

March 31 – the Day of Genocide of the Azerbaijanis is one of the vicious massacres and attacks perpetrated by Armenian forces against Azerbaijanis in 1918, Irina Tsukerman, a US-based human rights lawyer and national security analyst, told News.Az.

As a result of the attacks between March 30 and April 2, 1918, over 12, 000 Azerbaijanis of all backgrounds and others died. They were targeted on the basis of their ethnic and religious identity, an issue that has preceded the political tensions instigated by the Soviet Union for decades.

The analyst noted that the targeting of Azerbaijanis of all backgrounds followed the indoctrination of the Dashnak factions, whose ideology did not tolerate a possibility of coexistence of ethnic and religious differences.

“This ideology had been weaponized by the Red Army and survived the massacres for over 100 years. No outreach to the Armenian leadership had brought about mitigation in the dehumanizing worldview that brought about this mass atrocity, for which no one ever took responsibility nor was held accountable whether in a court of law or in the court of public opinion. The importance of commemoration of these events in light of this lack of closure for the families and descendants of the victims and survivors of these horrific events is in acknowledging that ideology can lead to a cycle of violence, incitement, fanaticism, bigotry and hatred,” she said.  

Tsukerman continued: “Reconciliation and peace are only possible when the "otherization" of one's neighbors comes to an end, human beings are regarded as individuals, not as groups that are hated and blamed en masse, and when leadership ceases the incitement and continuous propaganda of dehumanizing language and instead takes measures to promote peaceful education and a culture of coexistence and respect.” 

“Over a hundred years later, Azerbaijan and Armenia stand at the threshold of a possible breakthrough from a long history of tensions and conflict, with Azerbaijan offering not only an olive branch towards a peaceful and prosperous neighborly relationship that can inspire and enrich all of South Caucasus but a helping hand in creating a better future together.”

Tsukerman stressed that Armenia should acknowledge the mistakes and terrible actions of the past.

“Armenia should move past the ideology that had them stuck in that cycle of attacks and enmity towards Azerbaijanis, change dark points in history, put aside this feud, and move on towards building a better foundation for their own people that is only possible when hatred is no longer a central driving force,” the analyst added.


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