Azerbaijan, Baku, August 30 / Trend K. Zarbaliyeva /
"The fate of over 4,500 persons missing in Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is still unclear," Martin Agure Oguya, an ICRC tracing delegate based in Azerbaijan, said.
Families of people missing in connection with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, together with representatives of local authorities, the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) gathered in Baku, Sumgayit, Sabirabad, Ganja, Mingachevir and Lankaran cities to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared (30 August).
"A booklet, Moments of Eternity, which consists of photographs of personal items brought by families to similar events held last year that tell stories about the people they belonged to, was unveiled. The publication is intended to raise awareness of the issue of missing people," the representative said.
The ICRC is working together with the Azerbaijani authorities to set up mechanisms to help determine what befell the people who went missing. The ICRC's role, based on the mandate conferred on it by the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, is purely humanitarian: to help the families find out what happened to their missing loved ones. In Azerbaijan, the ICRC and the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan are continuing a nationwide effort to collect data on people still missing in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The information gathered will be handed over in mid-2011 to the State Commission on Missing, Prisoners of War and Hostages that centralizes all such data. After that, the ICRC's continuing support for the authorities' efforts will focus on providing expertise when requested and on addressing needs of the families of missing people.