Ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh will leave for Armenia because they do not want to live as part of Azerbaijan and fear ethnic cleansing. This was stated by the leadership of the breakaway region to Reuters.
Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but remained outside Baku’s control after the collapse of the Soviet Union, were forced to agree to a ceasefire on September 20 after a lightning-quick 24-hour operation by much more the largest of the Armenian forces, the Azerbaijani army.
Armenia demands that the UN “immediately” send a mission to Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan says it will guarantee Armenians’ rights and integrate the enclave, but the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians told Reuters they would leave the area. Azerbaijan has repeatedly denied any intention to harm them.
“Our people do not want to live as part of Azerbaijan. 99.9 percent prefer to go to our historical lands,” said David Babayan, an adviser to Samvel Shakhramanyan, the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh.
He said it was unclear when the 120,000 Karabakh Armenians would be heading down the Lachin Corridor.
“The fate of our poor people will go down in history as a shame and dishonor for the Armenian people and for the entire civilized world. Those responsible for our fate will one day answer to God for their sins,” Babayan pointed out.
The process of handing over the weapons to ethnic Armenians from the enclave is underway, he added.
Meanwhile, the Russian Interfax news agency, citing the Armenian Ministry of Health, reported that ambulances had evacuated some of the wounded from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.
“Ambulances with medics are transporting 23 wounded from Nagorno-Karabakh, who are in serious or extremely serious condition,” the ministry said.
And Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an address to the nation that Armenia is ready to accept all ethnic Armenian compatriots from Nagorno-Karabakh, as the likelihood of them leaving Ankava increases.
He added that the military blocs of which Yerevan is a member have proved ineffective – a clear criticism of Russia, Armenia’s main ally among the major powers, Reuters noted.
“Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh still face the threat of ethnic cleansing,” Pashinyan said, quoted by TASS.
“In recent days, humanitarian aid has arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh, but this does not change the situation,” added the Armenian Prime Minister.
“If real living conditions are not created for the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh in their native places, as well as effective mechanisms of protection against ethnic cleansing, then the probability that the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh will take emigration from their homeland as the only way out increases,” Pashinyan pointed out. .
Nearly 120,000 ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh will move to Armenia because they do not want to live under Azerbaijan’s rule and fear ethnic cleansing, leaders of the separatist enclave told Reuters.
“Our government will welcome our brothers and sisters from Nagorno-Karabakh,” added the Armenian Prime Minister.
The departure of so many people from Nagorno-Karabakh marks another turning point in the history of the mountainous enclave, which over the centuries has come under the rule of Persians, Turks, Russians, Ottomans and finally the Soviet Union.
It could also change the delicate balance of power in the South Caucasus, a patchwork of ethnicities and a region through which oil and gas pipelines run, and where Russia, the United States, Turkey and Iran vie for influence.
Mainly Muslim Azerbaijan said Armenians, who are Christian, could leave the enclave if they wanted. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has indicated that they should stay unless it is safer for them to leave.
After thousands of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians went without food, Armenian separatist authorities said last night that nearly 150 tons of humanitarian aid from Russia and another 65 tons of flour delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross had arrived in the enclave.
Source: BTA/Alexei Margoevski, Vladimir Sakhatchiev