United Armenian Council of Los Angeles Statement Regarding the Situation of Lachin Corridor

United Armenian Council of Los Angeles Statement Regarding the Situation of Lachin Corridor

United Armenian Council of Los Angeles

Statement Regarding the Situation of Lachin Corridor

We, the United Armenian Council of Los Angeles (UACLA), are the largest assembly of religious, political, cultural, philanthropic and professional organizations of the Armenian community in the greater Los Angeles area.  UACLA’s mission is to commemorate the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, as well as monitor and increase awareness about the current developments of Armenians in Armenia, Artsakh and the diaspora.

The Lachin Corridor is the only road connecting Armenian populated Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) to Armenia. It has been blocked by Azerbaijani protesters since December 12, 2022. They are protesting about the issue of alleged illegal mining of natural resources in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).  The protest and blocking of the Lachin Corridor has been with Azerbaijan’s government’s approval. It has halted the normal movement of people and goods in or out of the region, including food, fuel, and medical supplies, resulting in shortages of vital necessities in the region.

Many human rights entities and organizations have been raising concerns and awareness about this escalating inhumane crisis:  Below are a few worth mentioning:

Lemkin Institute’s reaction

(Please see:  https://www.lemkininstitute.com/red-flag-alerts on this topic).

It has issued Red Flag Alert against Azerbaijan for its Genocidal actions against the Armenians of Artsakh. 

The Lemkin Institute issues Red Flag Alerts when developments occur in countries and regions that exhibit several red flags for genocide. The Lemkin Institute understands red flags as immediate developments that have the potential to radicalize and/or bring together destructive historical trajectories and move a society further towards a mass atrocity event aimed at destroying one or more collective identities.  Their Alerts focus especially on developments that they feel are not being adequately appreciated for their genocidal potential by the global public and media, and that therefore need reconsideration within a genocide prevention framework.

We also take note of UNICEF’s statement of December 27, 2022, “https://www.unicef.org/armenia/en/press-releases/updated-unicef-regional-statement-ongoing-developments-around-lachin-corridor” warning about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the result of the virtual closure of the Lachin Corridor, a road that links Armenia and the “enclave” of Nagorno-Karabakh.  In its statement, the UNICEF warns, that children are being affected by the blockage and “the longer the situation persists, the more children will experience the lack of basic food items, while access to many of the essential services they need for their survival, healthy growth and wellbeing will become more challenging.

Furthermore, Samantha Power, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, said “Many children have also been deprived of parental care as they have been separated from their parents or legal guardians.” She also commented that “the Lachin Corridor must be re-opened immediately – the closure has the potential to cause a significant humanitarian crisis. This corridor is an essential route for the flow of much needed food and medical supplies that must be allowed to flow freely.”

Moreover, as Human Rights Watch reported: “the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia has been blocked since December 12, 2022, disrupting access to essential goods and services for tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians living there.  This blockage does not only prevent the delivery of essential items, thousands of people are stranded and unable to reach their homes, including children who were on a school trip to Yerevan”.

For over a month, we have been monitoring with grave concern the worsening humanitarian crisis that has developed as a result of the blockade of the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor against the indigenous Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh.  We believe that the clear intent of Azerbaijan’s actions is to starve the local Armenian population, isolate them, as well as deprive them of heat, gas, and electricity during the depths of winter.  We know all-too-well the telltale signs of an impending genocide and we see it happening in Artsakh today.   After decades of war, pogroms, cultural erasure, starvation, beheadings and terrorism, the Azerbaijani government has made clear its intent to ethnically cleanse the millennia old indigenous Armenian population from their ancient highlands of Artsakh. 

We, The United Armenian Council of Los Angeles, in the strongest terms condemn Azerbaijan’s unfolding acts of genocide against the Armenians of Artsakh.   We urge all members of the community to contact their local federal representatives asking them to exercise their authority and take steps to bring an end to the Azerbaijani blockade and demand that the free flow of people, food, medicine and goods be restored to Artsakh. 

Suggested local federal officials in the Southern California area to contact include: 

US Senator: Dianne Feinstein https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

US Senator: Alex Padilla https://www.padilla.senate.gov/contact/

Congressman Adam Schiff https://schiff.house.gov/contact

Congressman Brad Sherman https://sherman.house.gov/contact

Congresswoman Judy Chu https://chu.house.gov/contact

Feel free to email us should you have any question.  Thank you for your attention. 

Contact Secretary: secretary@uacla.com