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OSCE to monitor ceasefire on Armenian-Azerbaijani border

RIA Novosti

02:1624/05/2010 BAKU, May 24 (RIA Novosti) - Officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will conduct ceasefire monitoring on Monday along a disputed stretch of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.

The two countries have exchanged numerous allegations of ceasefire violations on the border near troubled Nagorny Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely ethnic Armenian population which has been a source of conflict between the former Soviet republics since the late 1980s.

The previous monitoring on May 13 in the province, which has its own government and is de facto independent, did not reveal any violations of ceasefire in the mountainous area.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh first erupted in 1988, when the region claimed independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia.

Over 30,000 people were reported dead on both sides between 1988 and 1994, and over 100 others died after a ceasefire was concluded in 1994, leaving Nagorny Karabakh in Armenian hands, but tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia have persisted.

The conflict is mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, comprising the United States, Russia and France.

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