Mon, 12 Apr 2021

Thousands of opposition supporters have gathered in downtown Yerevan for the latest protest demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's resignation following Armenians' bitter defeat to Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The march blocked a number of nearby streets in the city center before participants dispersed as 'nonstop' opposition protests and civil disobedience continue in the Caucasus state of around 3 million people.

It was organized by the Homeland Salvation Movement, one of more than a dozen opposition groups allied in their calls for an interim government and new elections.

The same group mobilized protesters earlier in the day in an effort to prevent Pashinian from entering the government building, which was surrounded by police forces.

More than 50 people were reportedly detained, including Homeland Salvation Movement members.

They have held at least three protests over the past week and have called for another demonstration on February 23.

Protests broke out in Armenia in November after Pashinian signed a Russian-brokered cease-fire that brought an end to 44 days of fierce fighting over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian forces had been largely defeated by Azerbaijan's Turkish-backed military in the recent fighting.

Under the terms of the cease-fire, Pashinian ceded control over some territory in Nagorno-Karabakh and all seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan that had been occupied by ethnic Armenian forces since the early 1990s.

Pashinian has rebuffed the pressure to step down and defended the cease-fire as the only way to prevent Armenians from losing all of Nagorno-Karabakh as well.

With reporting by AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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