Is it enough to be a big power to get a ceasefire?


The war in Nagorno Karabakh, which began on 27 September 2020, between Armenia and Azerbaïdjan has just experienced its third attempt at a ceasefire and a new ceasefire failure.

The first ceasefire was negotiated by Moscow and its Foreign Minister who summoned his peers to Moscow. After long talks (more than 10 hours), a ceasefire was announced. They had not had time to define a means of monitoring the ceasefire or to specify what was to follow. It did not hold.

The second ceasefire was announced from Paris. The foreign ministers of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group in charge of the Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations (USA, Russia, France) met and announced a ceasefire. It did not hold.

The third ceasefire was announced from Washington by the United States of America and its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On October 26, each side accused the other of violating the ceasefire.

These 3 attempts were made by 3 major powers, alone or together: United States, Russia, France.

If it was enough to be a great power to get a ceasefire, there should have been a ceasefire.

So why can’t they succeed in obtaining a ceasefire? Are they incompetent?

Is there any knowledge to achieve a ceasefire? To my knowledge, none that is internationally recognized. There are studies on ceasefires. There are courses at the UN for those who are going to do peace missions, but no one cares whether the principles proposed are verified by the facts and ceasefires that really hold.

There are different people who have “recipes” for achieving a ceasefire. And if one person indicates what should be done and it is actually done, it is impossible to know what has or has not been implemented. So, if that person has actually had an influence on a successful ceasefire, in the next war he might say that there is no point in trying a ceasefire if no one is willing to take stock of what has been done.

What’s up? There are attempts by 3 major powers and nothing else: it doesn’t bother anyone that they are unable to reach a ceasefire. Nor does it bother those who have done studies on the subject: what’s the point if we are unable to simply know what has really been tried. Nobody wants to take stock? Let them deal with their self-importance on their own.

Naej DRANER

October 27, 2020

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