UN Experts Find No Evidence of Chemical Weapons use by Armenia in Azerbaijan

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UN Experts Find No Evidence of Chemical Weapons use by Armenia in Azerbaijan


By Lucine Kasbarian


The Armenian Weekly


August 1, 1992


UNITED NATIONS, NY – UN Secretary-General Butros Butros-Ghali stated Tuesday that the findings of a UN investigation team concluded that chemical weapons had not been used by Armenians during skirmishes with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.


A team of specialists visited southern Azerbaijan from July 4-8, following the Secretary-General’s decision to send competent experts in view of the gravity associated with the possible use of chemical weapons under several UN charters.


The appointed experts -- from Sweden, Switzerland, and Belgium, and two members of the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs – met with casualties presented to them. Specialists visited the areas of Fizuli and Kubatli as well as hospitals in Baku to study the symptoms of the human cases. After doing so and evaluating weaponry particles submitted, they found that “although a number of events were presented as being suggestive of the involvement of use of chemical weapons in fact all could also readily be explained by other causes.” The report further stated that affected geographic areas were unlike what such grounds would resemble following chemical attacks.


The Secretary-General’s call for an investigation followed an official letter from the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations, Hasan Hasanov, charging that Armenia was using chemical weapons in its clashes with Azerbaijan. Subsequently, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia, Alexander Arzoumanian, communicated to the Secretary-General that the Azeri allegations were false, requesting that a fact finding mission be dispensed to more closely examine the matter.


In light of the results from the investigation, Butros-Ghali announced that “the fact that chemical weapons do not appear to have been used in the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is cause for much relief, but the real solution to the dispute will only be found by the end of the conflict and the re-establishment of sound relations between the states concerned.”