Nagorno-Karabakh: Angry Armenians Call for Nikol’s Resignation
The citizens of Armenia have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of their Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan. This development comes days after the signing of the historic peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the issue of the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the Nagorno-Karabakh region for years. The territory is internationally recognized as a part of the state of Azerbaijan. However, the people residing in the region are ethnically Armenian and thus want to be a part of the state of Armenia. While skirmished between the two countries have been going on since years, the conflict became more heated towards the end of September.
Both the countries blamed each other for committing aggression. As a result, a six week long armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia was initiated, with different international powers siding with one of the two states.
A Historic Peace Deal
In November, the Russian Federation brokered what was labelled a ‘historic peace deal’ between the rival states. The agreement awarded Azerbaijan control over the areas it had captured. The truce between the two is to be monitored by Russian troops deployed at the line of contact.
Azerbaijan celebrated the agreement and took it as a victory. On the other hand, the deal greatly angered the people of Armenia who believe the region to be rightfully theirs.
Call for Nikol’s Resignation
Thousands of Armenians gathered in the country’s capital to protest against the deal. Nikol Pashinyan, the Prime Minister of Armenia has clearly stated that he had taken the ‘painful’ decision keeping in view the military situation.
Despite the explanation, many Armenians believe there is something doubtful about the decision. Some have gone as far as labelling Nikol a ‘traitor’ who played in the hands of the opponent. Protestors stormed government buildings in Yerevan and demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister.
The Government’s Reaction
Armenian government officials have taken the stance that the decision was taken for the overall betterment of the state. The government has refused to give in to the demands of the opposition.
The police detained approximately a hundred protestors, which were released later. The crowd could be heard chanting slogans of ‘Nikol leave’ and ‘Nikol is a traitor’. The protestors opined that the Armenian public should have been taken into confidence before the Prime Minister signed a deal as significant as the Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal.