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UN Mission Arrives in Karabakh, First Go to in 30 Years

A United Nations mission visited Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, Azerbaijan stated, after nearly your complete ethnic-Armenian inhabitants fled since Baku recaptured the breakaway enclave.

An Azerbaijani presidency spokesman advised AFP {that a} “UN mission arrived in Karabakh on Sunday morning” — primarily to evaluate humanitarian wants.

It marks the first time in about 30 years that the worldwide physique has gained entry to the area.

Afterward Sunday, an Azerbaijani international ministry spokesman advised AFP that the mission had visited a checkpoint on the Karabakh border with Armenia.

He stated the mission — headed by the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Vladanka Andreeva — was anticipated to carry a press convention on Monday.

Armenian separatists, who had managed the area for 3 a long time, agreed to disarm, dissolve their authorities, and reintegrate with Baku following a one-day Azerbaijani offensive final week.


The tip of Karabakh’s separatist bid dealt a heavy blow to a centuries-old dream by Armenians of reuniting what they are saying are their ancestral lands, divided amongst regional powers for the reason that Center Ages.

Practically all of Karabakh’s estimated 120,000 residents fled the territory over the next days, sparking a refugee disaster.

An AFP journalist at a border crossing alongside the Lachin hall that hyperlinks Karabakh with Armenia noticed just one automobile arrive from the now abandoned enclave.


Sergei Astsaryan, 40, stated he was among the many final Armenians to depart the area.

“I don’t know of the place to go, possibly Europe,” he advised AFP, including nonetheless that he hoped lots of the refugees would return if Azerbaijan “offers guaranties, offers assist.”

“I’ve talked to Azerbaijani police they usually stated there can be no issues if we wish to return, that we are able to reside in our houses,” he stated.

The Azerbaijani presidency stated Baku’s migration service started working in Karabakh’s predominant metropolis of Khankendi (Stepanakert in Armenian) to register Armenian residents to make sure their “sustainable reintegration… into the Azerbaijani society,” promising them the “patronage of the Azerbaijani state.”

The assertion additionally stated the central authorities “has began offering acceptable medical providers within the metropolis of Khankendi.”

Nazeli Baghdasaryan, spokeswoman of the Armenian prime minister, stated “transportation of forcefully displaced individuals from Karabakh is nearing its finish as 100,514 refugees arrived in Armenia” by Sunday night.


She stated 47,322 refugees have been now in momentary lodging.

‘Sacred Land’

On Sunday, Armenia noticed a nationwide day of prayer for the area.


Bells rang in church buildings throughout the nation, and the top of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Karekin II, led a service within the nation’s predominant cathedral Echmiadzin, near the capital Yerevan.

“As our sacred land of Karabakh is abandoned, we pray for our sisters and brother of Karabakh who’re going by means of horrible struggling,” stated the pontiff.

Tons of attended the non secular service within the church of Saint Sarkis, in Yerevan.


“One of the vital tragic pages of Armenian historical past is being written as we speak,” 28-year-old Mariam Vartanyan advised AFP, standing within the crowd of worshippers.

Within the Vatican Metropolis, Pope Francis stated he was “following in latest days the dramatic scenario of the displaced folks in Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Following his Sunday Angelus prayer to the devoted at St Peter’s Sq., he referred to as for “dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia” to finish the humanitarian disaster with the help of the worldwide neighborhood.


Ethnic Hatred

Yerevan has accused Baku of “ethnic cleaning” — an allegation that Baku rejected — calling on Armenians to not depart their houses and reintegrate with Azerbaijan the place their rights can be revered.

Armenia, a rustic of two.8 million, faces a significant problem housing the sudden inflow of refugees.

The Worldwide Federation of Purple Cross and Purple Crescent Societies on Friday introduced an emergency enchantment for 20 million Swiss Francs ($22 million) to assist these fleeing.


Azerbaijan is now holding “re-integration” talks with separatist leaders whereas, on the identical time detaining some senior figures from its former authorities and army command.

Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor Basic Kamran Aliyev stated prison investigations had been initiated into conflict crimes dedicated by 300 separatist officers.

“I urge on these individuals to give up voluntarily,” he advised journalists on Sunday.


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan are set to satisfy on Thursday within the Spanish metropolis of Granada for Western-mediated talks geared toward ending their historic enmity.

With the 2 international locations’ relations poisoned by ethnic hatred ensuing from three wars in as many a long time, a number of rounds of negotiations mediated by Brussels and Washington have to this point did not deliver a couple of breakthrough.