The 31st of March is the commemoration day of the tragic events in the history of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani people which took place in the recent hundred years. The scandalous facts of massacre, repressions, eviction of Azerbaijanis from their native land constitute one of the tragic pages in the history of the 20th century. In March 1918, Stepan Shaumyan's Dashnak-Bolshevik government seized power and launched genocide against the Azerbaijani people. Ethnic Azerbaijanis were slaughtered in Baku, Shamakhi and other regions of Azerbaijan.
This date traces back not only to the massacres of the Azerbaijani people by Armenians in March 1918, but also to earlier tragic events. The latter include almost two centuries of military, political, ideological efforts aimed at driving Azerbaijanis out of their ancestral lands, exterminating them physically, as well as creating the mythical “Great Armenia”.
Since mass transfers of Armenians from Iranand the Ottoman empire to Karabakh (currently occupied by Armenia) and Zangezur (currently part of Armenia) at the outset of 19th century, through bloodbaths perpetrated by the Armenian militants in 1905 and 1918, as well as deportations of Azerbaijanis from their homes in the present day-Republic of Armenia, the Armenian territorial expansion culminated in 1988. At that time, Armenians referred to large-scale hostilities and expulsion of Azerbaijanis, now from their homes in Azerbaijan proper. Their atrocities are written in blood, as in the massacre of Khojaly, along with similar yet less-known tragedies.
These cruelties, along with occupation of almost 20% of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and emergence of hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons, constitute logical outcome of the Armenian aggression.
It is only through having in mind the lessons of the past, through standing united, both in the memories of the past and the plans for the future, through telling the world community the full story, that we can honor the memories of the victims of the Azerbaijanis’ genocide, as well as build better future for their descendants.