Service members of Russian peacekeeping troops stand next to a tank near the border with Armenia, following the signing of a deal to end the military conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces, in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Nov. 10, 2020.

Service members of Russian peacekeeping troops stand next to a tank near the border with Armenia, following the signing of a deal to end the military conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces, in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Nov. 10, 2020.

Credit:

Francesco Brembati/Reuters

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A new Russian-brokered ceasefire to end six weeks of intense fighting between Armenian forces and Azerbaijan has begun with the deployment of Russian peacekeepers to the disputed South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia, France and the United States had separately negotiated three earlier ceasefires — all of which collapsed. Under the terms of the agreement, Azerbaijan will maintain control of territories seized in the recent clashes, including the city of Shusha — known to Armenians as Shushi. And several other areas will be ceded by ethnic Armenian forces over the next few weeks.

Armenia’s defense ministry confirmed that the fighting had stopped and calm was restored in an enclave that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but mostly inhabited and governed — until now — by Armenians. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the ceasefire will result in a long-term political settlement and end a deadly conflict that has displaced residents and nearly pulled regional powers into a larger war. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described the deal as a “sacred success.”

In the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, motorists honked their horns in celebration as people waved the national flag. Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s president, referred to the “historic significance” of the ceasefire in ending “the years-long occupation.” However, some Azeris said the fighting was stopped too soon, as their government could have acquired even more territory as the Armenians capitulated. During the fighting, Armenia had lost control of a critical access road needed for military supplies to reach the mountainous enclave.

Angry Armenians stormed government buildings in their own capital, Yerevan, irate about what they view as their Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s betrayal of the national cause. Nagorno-Karabakh leader Arayik Harutyunyan, meanwhile, said the ceasefire prevented Armenian forces from losing the whole territory to Azerbaijan.

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Ethiopia’s military seized an airport in the Tigray region, as the Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, said he was not ignoring international warnings about the worsening conflict in the northwest of the country, bordering Eritrea and Sudan. The African Union called Tuesday for an immediate ceasefire and said in a statement that all parties should “respect human rights and ensure the protection of civilians.” Hundreds of people have been killed thus far, as Ethiopian troops have bombarded Tigray militiamen.

Saeb Erekat, the chief peace negotiator between the Palestinians and Israel, has died at a Jerusalem hospital of complications from COVID-19. Though ultimately frustrated by the lack of a final-status settlement between the two sides, Erekat was an advocate for the two-state solution and helped make strides toward reconciliation over a diplomatic career spanning decades. A close ally of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Erekat served as secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee.

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