Aggression by Armenia, Karabakh Conflict
The major domestic and international issue affecting Azerbaijan is the military aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan. The current conflict began in 1988 when Armenia, supported by the Soviet authorities, started a military aggression against Azerbaijan with the territorial claims for the Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. More than 30,000 citizens of Azerbaijan were killed in the fighting from 1992 to 1994. In May 1992, Armenian forces seized Shusha (the historical Azerbaijani-populated capital of Nagorno-Karabakh). As a result of the armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Armenia occupied 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan.
In 1987-1988, 250,000 Azerbaijanis were ethnically cleansed from their historic lands in Armenia, and have been living in Azerbaijan since 1987. More than 750,000 citizens of Azerbaijan fled the Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and seven adjacent administrative districts presently occupied by Armenia in the south-western part of Azerbaijan (Aghdam, Fizuli, Jabrail, Kelbajar, Lachin, Qubadly, and Zangilan). Those who remain displaced include 60,000 from the Nagorno-Karabakh region itself. As Armenia continues to occupy the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and seven surrounding districts, the displaced persons cannot return to their homes. Thus, more than one million refugees and internally displaced persons live in Azerbaijan today.
Although most of the refugees and displaced persons originated from rural areas, about 55 percent of them temporarily settled in urban areas, mostly in the capital Baku. More than half of the displaced persons still live in temporary accommodations, such as public buildings, hostels, schools, etc.
In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted 4 resolutions calling for the cessation of hostilities, immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of occupying Armenian forces from the Azerbaijani territories. Negotiations to resolve the conflict peacefully have been ongoing since 1992 under the aegis of the Minsk Group of the OSCE. The Minsk Group is currently co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States.