Many will breathe a sigh of relief after Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement to end the war for control of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict has ended, but only after seeing thousands of dead. Russia, being a major stakeholder in the region, also signed the deal and will patrol the frontline to maintain peace. With the peace deal, life will come to normalcy in the conflict zone. Deployment of peacekeepers will surely avoid re-ignition of conflict.

While people took to streets in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku as they saw the deal as a victory for their country, many Armenians stormed government buildings. Armenians are feeling betrayed since Azerbaijan will hold on to the areas of Nagorno-Karabakh that were occupied during the conflict. This anger of the Armenian people could force this government or any future one to violate the peace deal.

What is clear is that the territory that Azerbaijan has taken will be the bone of contention. Therefore, there is still much work that the global community, especially the United Nations (UN) and regional powers, like Russia and Turkey, need to do. The international community must be on its toes to avoid the creation of an atmosphere reeking with ethnic tensions as Azerbaijani refugees will return to the areas they fled in the early 1990s.

Besides, a mechanism is needed that can ensure that the ethnic Armenians living in the areas under occupation of Azerbaijan are neither discriminated against nor seen as second-class citizens. Lastly, deploying peacekeepers may help ease the tensions in the short run; this is not a long-lasting solution for the dispute. Russia needs to convince both sides to find a political solution to the disputed territories. Otherwise, the politically unsettled dispute will always remain a significant irritant for regional peace and stability.