Nick Akgulian, left, with a village nurse after seeing patients together outside a clinic in Taghavard village in Nagorno Karabakh that was the site of occasional attacks. The village was surrounded on three sides after the 2020 war and territory captured by Azerbaijanis is visible in the background.(photo courtesy Nick Akgulian)

Akgulian Letter to NYT Compares US Ambassador on Sudan and Artsakh Crises


Editorial Note: The New York Times published an article by US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on March 18 titled “The Unforgiveable Silence on Sudan,” in which she decries global inaction and silence concerning the civil war in Sudan and calls for intervention. Dr. Nick Akgulian, a doctor living in Wisconsin, responded with the following note concerning Artsakh published in the comments section of the article online. Dr. Akgulian worked in Artsakh several months late in 2022 on a healthcare project.

“The world’s silence and inaction need to end, and end now.” Where was such a decree by the Ambassador during the 10-month total blockade of the 120,000 people living in Nagorno-Karabakh between Dec. 2022 and Sept. 2023? Instead, eight months into the starvation of this population, she could only muster “we urge the government of Azerbaijan to restore free movement.” There was no call for the security council to “consider all tools at its disposal” to alleviate the suffering of these people. Likewise, she now states: “The international community must also demand the protection of civilians and pursue justice for victims of war crimes.” The world community, including the United States, failed to intervene during the 10-month blockade imposed by Azerbaijan which ultimately led to the September 2023 ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population from its ancestral homeland. No sanctions have been imposed on the leaders of Azerbaijan and, in fact, the current US administration has proposed additional aid to the perpetrators as part of the FY2025 U.S. foreign assistance budget. The 2023 Elie Wiesel Act Report, issued by the State Department and cited by the Ambassador, neglects to even mention Azerbaijan. While the Ambassador is right to bring attention and issue a call for action to the horrendous situation in Sudan, the moral authority of the US will only be respected if it is consistently applied whenever and wherever it is called for.


Racine, WI

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