Act now: Artsakh is on the brink of genocide

The recent tragic death of 40-year-old Artsakh native K. Hovhannisyan, a victim of chronic malnutrition and extreme protein-energy deficiency, serves as a haunting testament to the perilous situation that has enveloped the region. The relentless eight-month-long blockade imposed by Azerbaijan has driven Artsakh to the precipice of disaster, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable among its population: the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those grappling with chronic illnesses.

Let us be unequivocal: Artsakh’s plight is not a mere misfortune; it’s a glaring indictment of humanity’s collective failure. Azerbaijan’s complete siege has pushed the region into a dire public health emergency. Essential resources such as food and medicine are in critically short supply, and the healthcare system is teetering on the edge of collapse. The lives of the 120,000 inhabitants are hanging in the balance, with each passing day amplifying the urgency.

Argentine lawyer and the first Prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno Ocampo’s recent sobering assertion that the circumstances mirror conditions akin to genocide should galvanize global consciousness. We must not only recognize the severity of the situation but actively respond to it.

Yes, the international community must exert unwavering pressure on Azerbaijan to lift the blockade and grant unimpeded access for humanitarian aid and medical supplies. Yet, responsibility extends beyond the realm of governments. The people of Armenia, members of the Armenian Diaspora, human rights advocates, and empathetic citizens worldwide can catalyze change.

The time for meaningful action was yesterday. In a world that often seems indifferent, our collective outcry can be a lifeline for the beleaguered people of Artsakh. As they endure isolation, let our actions reverberate globally. Streets everywhere need to resonate with angry protest, shaking the very foundations of apathy. Azerbaijani embassies must be blockaded with sit-ins. Let us expose the inhumanity that arises from indifference and echo the cries of those who will not be silenced.

The gravity of this moment transcends borders, affiliations, and ideologies. It’s about safeguarding the sanctity of human life and dignity. Artsakh’s plight is a clarion call for humanity to rise above and act decisively.

The clock is ticking, and the price of inaction is beyond measure. It is a shame that we haven’t acted in unison until today. Nevertheless, even though our response comes later than it should have, it’s never too late until the window of opportunity closes.

Act now.