Law enforcement in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Law enforcement in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is inconsistently enforced, as the region is a de facto independent republic officially part of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and is governed by the unrecognized National Assembly of Nagorno Karabakh. According to a report prepared by British parliamentarian and rapporteur David Atkinson, presented to Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), "the borders of Azerbaijan were internationally recognised at the time of the country being recognised as independent state in 1991," and "the territory of Azerbaijan included the Nagorno-Karabakh region." Therefore, law enforcement in Nagorno-Karabakh would in theory be the responsibility of the Azerbaijan police.
However, the community of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic created, on May 9, 1992, the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, uniting previously disorganized self-defense units which were formed in the early 1990s in order to protect the ethnic Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh from the attacks by the military of the Soviet and Azerbaijani forces. Currently Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army is around 15,000-20,000 well-trained and equipped officers and soldiers. It consists of infantry, tanks, artillery and anti-aircraft systems. Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, most of Nagorno-Karabakh and several regions of Azerbaijan around it remain under joint Armenian and NKR Defense Forces control, thus splitting the responsibility unevenly between security forces of the two parties, the OSCE Minsk Group mission, and the United Nations.
- Mr David Atkinson, United Kingdom, European Democrat Group, (Rapporteur) The conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 29 November 2004
- Office of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Washington D.C. (Accessed February 13, 2006)