According to the latest official data made public by the Ministry of Defence of Nagorno Karabakh, there has been a slight increase in ceasefire violation incidents since the start of the year 2019. An internal monitoring group of the ministry has stated that violations this year have been with small arms fire (light machine guns, assault and sniper rifles). In the past, larger calibre weapons have been used, up to and including Israeli Spike anti-tank rockets on several occasions in 2017.
Nonetheless, this year, ceasefire violation cases have been reported with only small arms fire. Compared with last year during the same seven-week period starting the beginning of the year, in 2019 thus far 1445 ceasefire violation incidents have been reported compared with 1420 in 2018. Although, more violation incidents have been reported this year, less shots per se have been reported, 10.900 for 2019, compared with 13.800 during the same period in 2018.
Reported ceasefire violations during the first seven weeks of the year (2018 and 2019)
*as reported by the Nagorno Karabakh Ministry of Defence
A comparison of data from the Ministries of Defence of Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh show further data. From the period between 31 December 2018 until 16 February of this year, less ceasefire violation incidents have been reported by Baku than Stepanakert. Despite the slight increase in ceasefire violation incidents starting February, numbers are still quite low compared with the last several years. Alongside that, the methods for observing ceasefire violations remain quite debatable, and more so than reporting actual ceasefire violations, they reflect the severity of the tensions on the line-of-contact.
It is worth mentioning that two OSCE ceasefire monitoring missions have taken place since the start of this year, despite the reported ceasefire violation incidents, and particularly in areas official reported. On 13 February, the OSCE conducted a mission in the Goranboy region of Azerbaijan, along the line of contact with Martakert (Nagorno Karabakh), and although the OSCE reported no ceasefire violations, authorities in Azerbaijan reported 29 incidents, among them in the Goranboy region.
Reported ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh
during the first seven weeks of the year (2018 and 2019)
*data obtained from the Ministries of Defence of Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh