Hundreds of Australian Armenians have travelled to Canberra, calling on the government to speak out about attacks on an indigenous Armenian territory, they say amount to war crimes.
About 500 protesters gathered outside the Azerbaijan embassy, as tensions grow between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia after a decades-old conflict reignited last month, killing scores of people.
The parties are fighting over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since the end of a separatist war in 1994.
The current skirmish is the worst seen since the ceasefire and both sides are blaming each other.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne last week said she was concerned by the outbreak of fighting, and urged all sides of the conflict to "show restraint and support the efforts ... to help negotiate a peaceful resolution".
But the protesters accuse the Australian government of "fence sitting".
"Call an attack an attack, call an aggressor an aggressor, and call an aider-and-abettor in Turkey exactly that as well," said Armenian National Committee of Australia director Haig Kayserian.
"Canberra can't sit on the fence as hundreds of innocent peace-loving indigenous Armenians are being bombed to their deaths."
International media have reported that banned munitions - including cluster bombs - have been used on the Armenian capital, but the Azerbaijani side says Armenia has shelled its second largest city.
The protesters say their people fear the conflict could escalate into another Armenian genocide.
"This is not new, unfortunately, to Armenian people. We've lived through this before. People are fearful for their lives," protester Vache Kahramanian told AAP.
"The Armenian genocide was based on expansionism, was based on faith, was based on nationality, and what we're seeing here are those same ingredients," Mr Kayserian added.
They want the Australian government to join France in condemning Turkey and Azerbaijan.
French President Emmanuel Macron last week called Turkey's public support of Azerbaijan "reckless and dangerous" and told reporters: "I say to Armenia and to the Armenians, France will play its role."
"Sitting on the fence did not stop some of the greatest conflicts in the world - it was through the active participation of leaders to ensure the tension do de-escalate, to bring people back to the negotiating table," Mr Kahramanian said.
Australian Associated Press