Right to Self-Determination: Will African State Referendum Influence Karabakh Recognition?

By Naira Hayrumyan

The ongoing referendum in an African country has stirred a new wave of arguments about the right of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination and the selective approach of the international community to recognition of states.

Sudan is holding a referendum that will admittedly reaffirm the aspiration of the southern Christian minority of the country to live separately from the Muslin north — another example of creating a new state based on the right of part of the population to self-determination.

Experts were quick to draw parallels between Sudan and Nagorno-Karabakh, which declared its independence from Azerbaijan in December 1991 and held an appropriate referendum. There were reports that Karabakh would be “next” in the list of sates to be recognized.

Karabakh presidential spokesman David Babayan believes that “processes are taking place all over the world and these processes create favorable conditions for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict and the recognition of its independence.”

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