Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh remains elusive - 15 OCT 2008





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Published on Oct 15, 2008

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The re-election of Ilham Aliyev as Azerbaijan's president is likely to focus attention once again on the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The area was established by the Soviet Union in the 1920s as an autonomous region within Azerbaijan. Its population was mainly ethnic Armenian but many Azeris lived there too.

On December 10, 1991 in a referendum boycotted by local Azerbaijanis, ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh approved the creation of an independent state.

For the next three years Armenian and Azerbaijani forces fought a fierce war that killed up to 30,000 people and created a million refugees.

A ceasefire left Nagorno-Karabakh under ethnic Armenian control, just like a large swathe of land linking the enclave with Armenia.

But sporadic clashes have continued, with several soldiers on either side reportedly killed in March. Nadim Baba reports from the area on the tensions that some fear could break out into a new conflict.

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