Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 2
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has registered more than 4,500 missing persons as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to a message from the committee.
"Marking the International Day of the Disappeared, Aug. 30, the ICRC is calling on the international community to show greater awareness of the tragedy of people who have gone missing and the plight of their families," ICRC said in its message Sept. 1.
"Hundreds of thousands of people in all parts of the world have disappeared as a consequence of an armed conflict, natural disaster or migration," the committee noted.
"The ICRC is continuing to support the authorities on their efforts to clarify the fate of the missing persons and supporting the families of the missing still anxious for news," Nicolas Lambert, Head of the ICRC Barda Sub-Delegation said.
He made the remarks during the opening of the commemoration event in Azerbaijani city of Barda.
"Providing support to the families of missing people is a priority for the ICRC, which strives to make sure that their needs are met," he noted.
Aside from that, the ICRC trains volunteers from amongst the families of missing persons as social workers.
In 2014, a new project, which is a step forward in gathering data about missing persons, was piloted jointly by the government of Azerbaijan and the ICRC.
Denise Duran, Head of ICRC Delegation in Azerbaijan, said that collection of biological samples from very close relatives of missing persons will complement the detailed data already available about the missing persons.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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