LOS ANGELES - Thousands of people marched through West LA Sunday morning to show support for Armenia and Artsakh in their war with Azerbaijan.
The march, organized by the Armenian Youth Federation, was held after a week-long hunger strike took place by its members.
The march started at the Wilshire Federal Building and ended at the Azerbaijani Consulate General offices on Wilshire Blvd.
The Armenian-American community says they are demanding recognition for Artsakh, and end to military assistance to Turkey and Azerbaijan, and for the U.S. to immediately impose sanctions on Turkey and Azerbaijan.
"Evidence of Turkey and Azerbaijan's mobilization had been reported for weeks prior to this latest act of belligerency, with Azerbaijan mobilizing reservists, commandeering civilian vehicles for military use, and Turkey's contracting and transporting of Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan," said Alex Galitsky, a spokesperson for the Armenian National Committee of America's Western Region.
Fighting over the region of Artsakh broke out on Sept. 27. Over a thousand Armenian soldiers have died, including several civilians. Majority of the residents of Artsakh have been displaced as heavy shelling continues in the area. Azerbaijani officials haven’t disclosed their number of military losses.
Since heavy fighting broke out over a month ago, three attempts of a ceasefire have failed. All three ceasefire agreements were violated within hours. US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien was in Los Angeles Friday meeting with Armenian community leaders and local county officials discussing a way to end fighting and bring peace.
He says it’s hard to envision a long-term ceasefire settlement that doesn’t involve a multination armed peacekeeping force.
Therefore, the U.S. government is working with the Scandinavian government to put together a peacekeeping force that could be deployed into the region, according to O’Brien.
He says countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland would meet the needs of both Armenia and Azerbaijan.