World Armenian opposition warns of unrest

17:15  25 february  2021
17:15  25 february  2021 Source:   dw.com

New rallies in Armenia amid tensions

 New rallies in Armenia amid tensions © Karen Minasya, AFP Supporters of the Armenian opposition gather in front of the National Assembly to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister after his handling of last year's war with Azerbaijan, in Yerevan on February 27, 2021. New demonstrations by the opposition and supporters of the Prime Minister are planned for Monday in Armenia, in a context of a serious political crisis whose outcome still seems uncertain. Renewal of tensions in Armenia.

The government of the South Caucasus Republic has been criticized since the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan in autumn 2020. Now the opposition has issued an ultimatum.

Regierungschef Nikol Paschinjan marschiert mit seinen Anhängern durch die Hauptstadt Eriwan © Stepan Poghosyan / AP / picture alliance Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan marches with his supporters through the capital Yerevan

The largest opposition party Blooming Armenia gave the Prime Minister an ultimatum to resign. "We call on Nikol Pashinyan not to lead the country into civil war and to avoid bloodshed," the party said in a statement. "Pashinyan has one last chance to avoid unrest."

Chief of General Staff dismissed

The head of government accused his country's armed forces of attempting a coup. Pashinyan said that he viewed a statement by the General Staff calling on the government to resign "as an attempted military coup." He also announced the dismissal of the Chief of Staff Onik Gasparian.

Can Armenia’s PM survive protests and a ‘coup’ attempt?

  Can Armenia’s PM survive protests and a ‘coup’ attempt? Pashinyan is under pressure over his handling of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, which saw key territory ceded to Azerbaijan.Last November, Premier Nikol Pashinyan ceded control of large swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in neighbouring Azerbaijan that was controlled by ethnic Armenians since the 1990s, to Baku.

Der armenische Ministerpräsident Nikol Paschinjan demonstriert Zuversicht © Hayk BaghdasaryanPhotolure // REUTERS The Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan demonstrates confidence

Later Pashinyan marched with his supporters through the streets of the capital Yerevan. "The situation is tense, but we have to agree that there should be no clashes," he called to his supporters. The political instability "can be brought under control". Since the end of the fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region more than three months ago, Pashinyan has been in a serious crisis because the opposition blames him personally for the defeat against Azerbaijan. There have been protests for weeks.

Russia calls for calm

The situation in the country was initially confusing. It remained unclear whether the army would use armed force to enforce their demands. Russia called for calm in the face of developments and at the same time stated that it was a domestic matter for Armenia that had to be resolved in accordance with the constitution.

The head of government has been criticized for months for having approved a ceasefire agreement brokered by Moscow with Azerbaijan in November. The agreement between the hostile neighboring states ended the six weeks of heavy fighting in the Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but resulted in significant territorial losses for Armenia. According to both sides, around 6,000 people were killed during the fighting.

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