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On November 9, known as the national flag day in Azerbaijan, Baku ruptured into jubilation, however in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, an angry crowd attacked the parliament building, cursing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The root of the scene was the announcement of Russian broked settlement to end the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
The agreement signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan and Prime Minister Pashinyan calls for Armenia's army to withdraw from the region and be replaced by Russian peacekeepers. The peace deal marks the biggest shake-ups in a turbulent region since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr Putin said the new deal agreement requires both Azerbaijan and Armenia armies to stop their occupied territories. The Nagorno-Karabakh region lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the separatist war in 1944.
On Monday, Armenia's foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan's resignation was announced by his spokeswoman, Anna Nagdhalyan on Facebook indeed after Pashinyan decided to dismiss Mnatsakanyan. Earlier on Monday, the ministry publicly disagreed with Pashinyan over the peace talks. The disagreement with the ministry and the resignation of Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who held the post since 2018, could signal the start of a political crisis in Armenia. Pashinyan during an online press conference said there had been offers to cede to Azerbaijan regions that Armenia controlled around Nagorno-Karabakh and the city of Shusha.
The deal signed on Monday gives the people of Azerbaijan much of what the country needed for years in negotiations, including the return of internally displaced people. Along with its military Armenia agreed to surrender a small ethnic Armenian region inside Azerbaijan but not in Nagorno-Karabakh. The route will open a transport corridor for Azerbaijan through Armenia to Nakhichevan (Azerbaijan region), helping the United Nations to oversee the return of displaced people. Although Russian peacekeepers will be allotted in the region, the future of ethnic Armenians who want to remain or return, particularly those who may well be competing for property claims between them and returning Azerbaijanis.
The issue of Displacement
The clashes have rendered many homeless in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. As per the official count, 75000 people have been compelled to leave the place. The mediators are set to meet in Geneva. As per the report 50% of Karabakh’s population, 90% of women and children have been displaced. Civilians have been ruthlessly killed by the forces. 300 military personnel from the Armenian forces have been killed. Marking itself as a great Humanitarian Crisis. The conflicted region of the Caucasus has resulted in 2 million refugees and internally displaced people. Hundreds and thousands of them continue to live in temporary shelters Many displaced families have taken refuge in the public buildings in the Bardia region. Families which had faced the massive clashes in the year 1994 experienced the same after decades. As per the estimates, 40% of the housing in the border regions has been ruined, 75% of the displaced population continues to live in pastures huts, and other temporary dwellings. The fight of occupying territory has pushed people into a life of hardship, uncertainty, and struggles. They are sad and frustrated to witness their children bear the same brunt which they had faced years back. The security and protection of these people are a big question, with the pandemic overhead the displaced population is going through terrible times. Around 30 kilometers from the conflicted regions 65 families have taken shelter in a school building, each classroom accommodates 2-5 families. It is heartbreaking to witness the children draw images of war tanks before learning to write. The International Red crescent opines that the current situation might lead to a massive surge in the covid 19 cases due to people living in common buildings with a lack of sanitation. Displaced families still hope to return home. The 30 years of struggle and trouble have taken their lives over a storm.
As per the recent update Seven-hundred-twenty-five of those displaced by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have returned to the region since November 14, accompanied by Russian peacekeeping and military police patrols, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing in Moscow on Monday. The spokesperson also mentioned that the exchange of bodies in Nagorno-Karabakh continues were carried out per the agreements."The exchange is coordinated by the peacekeeping forces of the Russian Federation and the International Committee of the Red Cross," Konashenkov outlined. He also stated that peacekeepers are currently clearing mines and explosives in the Lachin corridor, and the ceasefire is observed along the entire contact line. Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Russian-brokered deal to cease fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from 01:00 local time (21:00 GMT) on November 9. Under the terms of the agreement, Azerbaijan establishes control of the territory it has taken in the most recent fighting, with Armenia giving up further areas, including the Kalbajar district. The deal also sees around 2,000 Russian peacekeepers deployed to the region to guard a road connecting the remaining part of the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.
Authors: Srijita Chakrabarti | Kabir Kalia