24 February 2006 -- The U.S. oil-services company McDermott says its workers at a facility in Azerbaijan have ended a strike --> http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/02/AF315AE1-C022-4A2A-9A06-9A6293124430.html after managers removed posters commemorating the dead from a war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The posters were put up ahead of a national day of mourning for victims of the early 1990s war.
The company said today the president of McDermott's Azerbaijan operation, Dan Houser, sent an apology to workers' representatives.
The head of the trade union, Tofiq Qorciyev, said striking workers wanted the two managers who removed the posters thrown out of the country for insulting Azerbaijanis' feelings.
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In February 1988, the local assembly in Stepanakert, the local capital of the Azerbaijani region of NAGORNO-KARABAKH, passed a resolution calling for unification of the predominantly ethnic-Armenian region with Armenia. There were reports of violence against local Azeris, followed by attacks against Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait. In 1991-92, Azerbaijani forces launched an offensive against separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Armenians counterattacked and by 1993-94 had seized almost all of the region, as well as vast areas around it. About 600,000 Azeris were displaced and as many as 25,000 people were killed before a Russian-brokered cease-fire was imposed in May 1994.
CHRONOLOGY: For an annotated timeline of the fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94 and the long search for a permanent settlement to the conflict, click here.
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