Genocide is being carried out in Nagorno-Karabakh today. Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, stated in an interview with the VOA Armenian Service, News.am informed.
STEPANAKERT, SEPTEMBER 1, ARTSAKHPRESS: At the request of the Armenian side, he presented his expert opinion on the blocking of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan and the resultant catastrophic humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Reflecting on the five variants of the crime defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention, Ocampo singled out the creation of conditions for the extermination of a group of people, which does not even foresee the existence of casualties.
The 15 judges of the International Court of Justice unanimously decided that blocking the Lachin corridor poses an immediate threat to the lives of people living in Nagorno-Karabakh, he said.
In his opinion, the intentions of the Azerbaijani side are obvious. Baku continues to reject calls from the international community to reopen the Lachine corridor, ignoring the ruling of the International Court of Justice.
Luis Moreno Ocampo emphasized the use of the term “genocide” to alert the international community, especially the USA and France, which are engaged in the Karabakh negotiation process.
If we are dealing with a humanitarian crisis, then the international community can call for political talks, they can give other qualifications, but if it is genocide, then we have a different situation, he noted.
Referring to the discussion on the issue in the UN Security Council, and the fact that, apart from the Armenian side, no other country refrained from calling what happened a “genocide,” Ocampo reminded that in the 1990s, during the Rwandan genocide, the UN Security Council was discussing “mass murders” while avoiding calling them “genocide.”
According to him, countries do not want to recognize the genocide because in case of recognition, they have to resort to certain actions.
In the UN Security Council, each country defends its interests, but here they have no interest in that respect. Legally, everything is clear. It is complicated from a political point of view because the USA supports Azerbaijan in the conflict with Iran. Europe needs energy carriers coming from the region. So there are many political interests that influence the legal response, Ocampo said.
According to him, the United States, Russia, and France coming to an agreement on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh can put pressure on Azerbaijan and quickly achieve the reopening of the Lachin corridor.
It’s the easiest way. If that doesn’t work, of course there is the option of supplying the population with food via an airlift. But the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court believes that this is plan B.
As per the Argentinian lawyer, the United States has enough leverage to put pressure on Azerbaijan. At the same time, Washington simply cannot support Baku in exerting pressure on the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh because such a move would make the US an accomplice.
He drew attention to the fact that the problem is not only food, and the issue cannot be considered solved by delivering food once in an alternative way.
There is no reason that does not allow Azerbaijan to implement the decision of the international court, Luis Moreno Ocampo said.