World, Azerbaijan Front Line

Armenian parliament changes law to form militias

Lawmakers adopt amendments that allow government to form militia groups, confiscate civilian assets

Elena Teslova   | 28.10.2020
Armenian parliament changes law to form militias

MOSCOW

The Armenian parliament Wednesday adopted amendments in the law that allow the government to form a "people's militia" from recruited civilians and confiscate assets in case of need.

Militia groups should be formed according to the territorial principle and they report to the heads of the local administration, according to a new reading of the law, the parliament's press service said in a statement.

The main task of the militias will be assisting "forces during martial law," it said.

The groups will be provided uniforms, weapons and will be trained in military camps.

Assets can be expropriated upon a Defense Ministry request on condition of further retributions from the government that will repay damages.

In late September, Armenia declared martial law following a new escalation in the Upper Karabakh region.

Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the "immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from the Azerbaijani territory.

About 20% of Azerbaijan's territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new cease-fire.

Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.

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