Calgary protesters gather in solidarity with Azerbaijan
CALGARY -- Members of Alberta Azerbaijan Cultural Society are marching through downtown Calgary on Sunday to raise awareness about the tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Nearly two weeks ago, members from Canadian Armenian communities took the streets in a rallying cry to the federal government about the restless situation back in their home country.
Tensions between the two countries have been uneasy for decades, but remained peaceful.
However, more than a month ago, fighting broke out in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Violence soon spread to include seven other Azerbaijani districts.
Organizers of the Calgary rally say the history of the conflict dates to 1988 when Armenia, with Russian support, occupied parts of Azerbaijan, expelling approximately 684,000 locals from the area.
In the early 1990s, more than 150,000 Armenians moved out of Azerbaijan, while just under 700,000 people of Azerbaijani descent were displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh and a buffer zone surrounding it according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.