CHINARI, Armenia—The delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Armenia says it regrets that it has had to suspend its work in support of civilians harvesting fields in Chinari village, Tavush Region, as a result of shooting from Azerbaijani units from across the border that occurred on 26 July. In accordance with its mandate to assist civilians adversely affected by armed conflict, the ICRC had agreed to a request made by Chinari villagers to be present as harvesters worked in fields situated at the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“No one was injured at the time of the shooting, but an ICRC vehicle sustained minor damage,” the ICRC said in a statement. Prior to the incident, villagers had been able to harvest four hectares in safety with the ICRC being present.
“The ICRC’s policy is to maintain a confidential dialogue with the relevant authorities in order to address security concerns. The ICRC therefore does not comment publicly on the specific circumstances of incidents of this kind, or on who may have initiated the shooting,” the ICRC said. “Through this policy, the ICRC is able to engage with the authorities in a manner that helps ensure that it can continue its work on behalf of people suffering the effects of armed conflict.”
The ICRC maintains its commitment to work on behalf of civilians living close to the international border and will continue to carry out other assistance activities in the border area.