YEREVAN (A.W.)—Around 1,000 members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D) will travel from Armenia to Artsakh (Karabagh) on Feb. 27, to express their solidarity with Artsakh and to commemorate the Sumgait anti-Armenian pogroms of 1988.
During their visit, ARF members are expected to meet with Artsakh authorities and visit military units and outposts.
Speaking to the Armenian Weekly, ARF-D Bureau member Giro Manoyan said the purpose of the visit is to express support to Artsakh. “The visits to the military units and outposts are aimed at bringing attention to the constant ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan and expressing support to our soldiers who are defending the borders and the line of contact. The meetings with the Republic of Artsakh leadership are also to express support to Artsakh.”
2014 was the bloodiest year in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict since the 1990’s, with 39 Azerbaijanis and 33 Armenians killed. By comparison, the previous worst year on record, 2012, saw 14 Armenian and 20 Azerbaijani soldiers killed.
It is expected that members of the ARF-D Bureau and the Supreme Council of Armenia will also take part in the visit.
This year marks the 27th anniversary of the deadly pogroms of Sumgait, which took place on Feb. 27, 1988. The pogroms are considered the beginning of a systematic campaign by Azerbaijan’s OMON Special Forces to use massacres and mass violence to uproot Armenians from Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabagh. The Sumgait tragedy and its violent repetitions throughout the country between 1988-91 led to the disappearance of 450,000 Armenians living in the long-established Armenian community of Azerbaijan.