WESTWOOD—On Monday, October 26, the Armenian Youth Federation began a hunger strike in front of the West Los Angeles Federal Building located at 11000 Wilshire Blvd. AYF aims to call attention to the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Artsakh.

The Republic of Artsakh, or the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, is an autonomous state in the Caucasus. It has an overwhelming Armenian population, and is governed by Armenians.

In 1921, Joseph Stalin granted the territory to Azerbaijan, to placate its ally, Turkey. With the dissolution of the USSR, conflict over Artsakh escalated to war between 1988 and 1994. There have been additional border clashes in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

The latest incident transpired on September 27, Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused the other of provocation, with Turkey supporting Azerbaijan. On October 9, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a temporary cease-fire. Armenian leaders have accused Azerbaijan of breaking the cease-fire, and Azerbaijani leaders have alleged Armenia of it. As of October 27, the war is ongoing.

AYF demands sanctions against Azerbaijan and Turkey for their aggression in Artsakh and escalation of war. It demands the recognition of the Republic of Artsakh.

“As American citizens, we are tired of our taxpayer money going to nations like Turkey and Azerbaijan who are committing war crimes against innocent civilians,” said AYF Western Region Chairperson Aram Manoukian to Zartonk Media.

The strike will culminate up to a protest on Sunday, November 1, to the Azerbaijani Consulate.

Canyon News reached out to AYF, but did not hear back in time for print.