Dr. Elyse Semerdjian, a scholar on the Armenian genocide who is on staff at Clark University, believes “the Biden administration has blood on its hands” over its handling of the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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“Joe Biden courted the Armenian community under the pretext that he was going to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, which he promptly did,” she said. “But, as a scholar of genocide, I have to ask: what good is that if this genocide is also happening under his watch?”
The conversation then delved into the question of whether the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh could be classified as genocide — a term some seem remiss to use, despite the horrors unfolding.
Dr. Semerdjian, drawing from her expertise in the field of genocide studies, explained historical patterns of deprivation and related tactics have been used as tools of genocide in the past.
With that in mind, the international community’s reluctance to use the legal label of genocide raised concerns about the lack of accountability, tough stances, and necessary action to halt such acts.
Semerdjian said she believes a “green light” is being sent to continue the “genocidal conditions” being perpetuated at the hands of Azerbaijan, the nation that overtook Nagorno-Karabakh after nine months of an imposed blockade of the Lachin corridor.
This blockage prevented ethnic Armenians living in the region from receiving food, medicines, and resources. Semerdjian has joined other experts in critiquing the West’s refusal to stop Azerbaijan from taking these actions and essentially invading the area.
Now, most residents of Nagorno-Karabakh have fled, pouring into Armenia and sparking questions about what comes next and how the refugee crisis will further devolve.
Semerdjian said the situation might not end here, either, as some fear Armenia will be conquered next, allowing for a “corridor to Turkey” to take form; Turkey has sided with Azerbaijan in the dispute.
“As long as there is no accountability or pushback from the international community, especially the United States, we’re going to see more of this and it’s happening under [Biden’s] watch,” she said.
In terms of potential solutions, Semerdjian called for international efforts to assist Armenians seeking safe passage out of the conflict zone. She also stressed the need for guarantees of Armenian sovereignty and territorial integrity, given the potential threats to Armenia itself.
Joel Veldkamp, head of international communications for Christian Solidarity International, also recently spoke with CBN Digital about the crisis.
“It’s our worst nightmare come to life right before our eyes,” Veldkamp said. “We saw it coming, we warned people it was coming, the Armenians warned people that it was coming, and we tried to amplify their voices as much as we could.”
Please continue to pray for the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenians more broadly.
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