Azerbaijani community of Nagorno Karabakh appeals to UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie
BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 27
Head of International Relations department of the Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region Aybaniz Ismayilova sent an appeal to UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) Special Envoy Angelina Jolie on behalf of the community's women on the occasion of World Refugee Day which was marked on June 20, Trend reports citing the community.
“There are more than one million refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan. These people have a common destiny because of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia. Azerbaijan has been suffering from the aggressive and occupational policy of Armenia for about 30 years,” the appeal said.
“Despite the fact that the ceasefire regime has been announced 25 years ago, periodical short-term hostilities take place on the line of contact, military personnel die and are injured, and sometimes civilians also lose their lives in the conflict zone. During the first five years of the war, about one million people became refugees from the territories of Azerbaijan, occupied by Armenia. Thus, one million people displaced from the occupied cities, districts and villages were forced to settle in the safe districts of Azerbaijan," said the document.
The appeal stated that about one million refugees lived for more than 10 years in tents, wagons, and camps made of wooden barracks.
“Under inhuman living conditions, children were born, old people died, young people became adults, two generations grew up. Hundreds of thousands of children were deprived of normal education and happy childhood. In the camps, where there was no normal medical care, people became infected with various diseases, and suffered heavily from heat and cold."
“Despite all these tragedies, our grief and pain failed to attract the attention of the world community,” the appeal stressed.
"It is true that terrible wars, tragedies, problems are also happening in the world today. No matter where they occur, the pain, tragedy, hunger, death are common for everybody.The fate of refugees during the last 30 years has broken the lives of four generations.”
The fate of young people who have become refugees is even harder than that of other generations. They had to support their parents, care for them, grow up their children. Another generation of children became refugees. The children whose childhood fell on the years of the war, who were half-starved, had to live in camps and could not get a normal education, finally assert themselves and take their place in life," the appeal said.
The document stated that war and forced displacement destroyed the lives of generations and changed their fate.
"Indeed, if you compare these facts with the great wars, numerous refugees and more painful processes, it will not seem so tragic, but all of the said above is enough to cause unalleviated pain and permanently affect human lives. Now, four generations are hoping that this war will end peacefully and that they will be able to return to their homes.”
“The right of these people to return to their lands has been recognized by all international organizations. Despite this, they have been forced to live longing for years for their native lands. We, forced women migrants of Karabakh, invite you to Azerbaijan so that we can tell you about our childhood, youth, homes and memories, about the graves of our beloved ones and about our lands where we had peaceful and happy life. We want to bring the truth about our tragedy to the world community."
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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.