Leyla Yunus: Azerbaijan needs a professional army

Conscription in the armed forces of Azerbaijan does not justify itself, it is not effective and is a source of corruption. This opinion was expressed by the director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD) Leyla Yunus, speaking at a seminar NATO PA on June 17.

In her view, a large numerical strength of the armed forces of Azerbaijan is not necessary.

At the same time, she noted that during the active phase of hostilities in Karabakh in 1992-93 the Armenian military forces in Karabakh numbered about 18,000 people. At the same time, half of them were representatives of Armenia.

Azerbaijani army numbered 21,000 men.

Currently, Yunus continued, according to various expert estimates the number of members of the Army of Armenia on the Karabakh front does not exceed 8,000 people and they are mainly in the second tier, that is, in the border with Armenia in the occupied areas Kelbajar, Lachin and Zengilan.

On other sections are units of the Karabakh Armenians, numbering 18,000 people. Thus, the Armenians are only 26,000 personnel.

Therefore, according to Yunus, to confront so many troops we do not need a cumbersome army based on conscription system. At the same time, most of the armed forces are outside the conflict region.

Therefore, it is better to form an efficient professional army.

"Creating a professional army on a voluntary basis will remove all questions on alternative service and will negate the claim of human rights defenders, Soldiers' Mothers Committee and others. The volunteer-contractor, who chooses for himself the honorable profession of defender of the motherland, will receive significant monetary remuneration and appropriate pension in case of injury or death and the family of the soldier will be provided by the state. It should also be noted that in most of the major countries of the world they have long recognized the importance of translating the army on a professional footing," says Yunus.

In turn, the head of the military strategy and defense planning of the Defense Ministry Elman Samedov said that Azerbaijan's military doctrine provides an opportunity to transition to a professional army. Currently, however, this issue is not on the agenda. However, he pointed out that in some NATO countries there is also a draft system.

The session moderator, Bulgarian expert Todor Tagarev noted that each of the systems - professional and conscript has its pros and cons and each country chooses the principle of the creation of the army.

However, the system of professional army looks most effective.

MP from the ruling party New Azerbaijan, Siyavush Novruzov said that he is a member of the draft board, and there are no problems in the system of conscription.

According to him, such problems were typical, when the Defense Ministry was headed by a man incompetent in military matters, and Yunus was his press secretary. -06B-

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