Armenians return to Nagorno-Karabakh after ceasefire


PTI, Nov 18, 2020, 2:22 PM IST

Yerevan: Joyous scenes of smiles and hugs could be seen Tuesday on the main square of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, as ethnic Armenians returned to their homeland a week after a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan halted the fighting that had raged over the separatist region for more than six weeks.

The Moscow-brokered truce called for territorial concessions in favour of Azerbaijan and left many Armenians bitter, but allowed those who fled from the violence to return to their homes.

“I feel great because I’m coming back to my sons,” said None Agasyan, whose two sons were injured during the fighting.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian peacekeepers deployed to the region in accordance with the ceasefire agreement have accompanied more than 1,200 people returning to Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia since Saturday.

Turkey’s parliament, meanwhile, granted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government permission to deploy peacekeepers to Azerbaijan to monitor the cease-fire.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. That war left not only Nagorno-Karabakh itself but substantial surrounding territory in Armenian hands.

Heavy fighting that flared up September 27 marked the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, killing hundreds and possibly thousands of people.

The truce last week stipulated that Armenia turn over control of some areas its holds outside Nagorno-Karabakh’s borders to Azerbaijan. It halted the fighting after several failed attempts to establish a lasting cease-fire, but prompted mass protests in the Armenian capital Yerevan and calls for Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s ouster.

In a sign of the political crisis deepening, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan resigned Monday after the ministry publicly contested Pashinian’s claims about the course of the peace talks.

Another Cabinet member, Emergency Minister Feliks Tsolakyan, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian added to the pressure, saying in an address to the nation that holding an early election, which implies Pashinian stepping down, is “inevitable.”

But politics appeared far away from the residential buildings of Stepanakert, where residents were unpacking their belongings after returning from Armenia.

Bela Khachateryan, a doctor at a maternity clinic, found her apartment in the region’s capital untouched by shelling, but without electricity or gas. Still, for Khachateryan, who came back to Stepanakert on Tuesday with her mother and daughters after nearly two months away, there is no place like home.

“Wherever we are staying, even with Armenians (in Yerevan), we’re drawn to here, to our home, to our city,” Khachateryan said after unpacking heavy bags with groceries she brought from Yerevan. “We are used to this place. We love our city.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said the United States welcomes the ceasefire and is providing USD 5 million in humanitarian assistance “to support the operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organization and non-governmental organization partners to assist people affected by the recent fighting.”

The assistance will go towards local efforts to provide food, health, shelter, and other emergency assistance to conflict-affected persons, Pompeo said.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

No evidence of paper leak in NEET-UG: Dharmendra Pradhan

Darshan’s co-star Pradosh, aide Nagaraj arrested in Renukaswamy murder case

Wildlife smuggler arrested with 22 wildlife turtles in UP

Mumbai man complains of finding piece of flesh with nail in ice cream he ordered online

Kerala govt to provide Rs 5L assistance to kin of those from state who died in Kuwait fire

Orders to freeze bank accounts of varsities in Bihar revoked

Scoliosis – Understanding the Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors

Related Articles More

Skills Development Centre Marks 12 Years of Taal Yatra

Several Indians among 41 killed in Kuwait apartment blaze

More than 1.5 million foreign Muslims arrive in Mecca for annual Hajj pilgrimage

Chinese police say a suspect is in custody in the stabbing of 4 US college instructors

Indian-origin man killed in Canada; targeted killing suspected

MUST WATCH

Fire accident

Shankarapura Mallige | Jasmine Flower

Packaged Food

Sri Vishwaprasanna Tirtha Swami

H. D. Kumaraswamy


Latest Additions

Actor Darshan arrest: CCTV footage shows suspected abduction of Renukaswamy

Punjab BJP chief urges PM Modi to name Adampur airport after Guru Ravidas

Anger in country over NEET exam will ‘reverberate inside Parliament’: Cong slams govt

Renuka Swamy case: Pavithra Gowda did nothing wrong, says ex-husband

Cong lauds SKM for recalling ‘Mandsaur firing incident’ on Chouhan getting agriculture portfolio

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.