Armenia Police Detain Hundreds As Protests Grow Over PM Resignation

Armenia’s police arrested some 244 people as protests mounted against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyab after his recent remarks over negotiations with the government of Azerbaijan.

Thousands of the protestors took to the streets and blocked roads in Yerevan, the capital city, and expressed anger over Pashiniyan’s decision to compromise on Armenian’s sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh status, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In his speech on 13 April, Pashinyan said that the international community is pushing Armenia to show some compromise on Nagorno-Karabakh’s status, and underlined the need to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.

The opposition party, Armenia Alliance has warned of more protests in upcoming days, and also slammed the government for using force against the civil demonstrators.

Ishkhan Saghatelyan, a Deputy Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament and a leader of the Armenia Alliance, told reporters that they would not bow down to the violence.

Saghatelyan also said that most of the detained protestors were released later.  

Armenia and Azerbaijan have remained in conflict over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1990s, where both the countries claimed it as part of its land.

One of the deadly border skirmishes erupted in 2020, in which the border guards of the two countries fought for six weeks and Azerbaijan was able to reclaim control over large swaths of land.

The government of Russia intervened at that time as a result Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed for a ceasefire. However, Pashinyan criticized at home for agreeing to the deal instead of taking back the lost territory.

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