1st Prize Stories, General News, Nominee, World Press Photo Story of the Year
18 December 2020
Conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh resumed in September, after a lull of 30 years. In 1994, following the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, part of Azerbaijan, unilaterally declared an independent state. Little was done to resolve the status of Nagorno-Karabakh in the decades that followed, and sporadic military clashes continued. In 2020, hostilities, which each side blames the other for starting, led to a Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. Conflict continued until 9 November, when, in a settlement brokered by Russia, Azerbaijan regained possession of territory lost in the 1990s, but the regional capital, Stepanakert, was left under ethnic Armenian control. Although fighting is over, reconciliation will prove difficult both to Armenians who feel they have lost their homeland and are now displaced, and to Azerbaijanis returning to a region ravaged by war.