June 18, 2024

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Azeris Wrestle Over Return to Abandoned Towns, Decades After First Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict With Armenia

AGDAM, Azerbaijan—Some thirty several years on from the war that noticed Armenian forces push hundreds of thousands of Azeris from their households in and all-around the conflict-torn enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, quite a few hope they can shortly return immediately after Azerbaijan regained a great deal of the encompassing place in a counteroffensive previous slide.

But for Sayali Pashayeva, and many others like her, that desire is clouded by thoughts this sort of as the place they would reside in the rubble-strewn border territories, and regardless of whether they could realistically carve out a new livelihood on their return.

“I thank God for enabling me the likelihood of returning to die on my own land,” mentioned Mrs. Pashayeva, 74 several years aged, on her to start with pay a visit to back to Agdam, at the time property to her relatives and 40,000 other individuals. Her son and daughter unfurled a red rug from the trunk, a present for the community mosque, the only constructing remaining standing below, about 3½ miles from the border with Nagorno-Karabakh, even now officially beneath the command of ethnic-Armenians. The money there, Stepanakert, is monitored by Russian peacekeepers.

“For thirty several years, we have waited for this second,” Mrs. Pashayev’s son, Alastun Pashayev, 45, mentioned. Azerbaijan secured command Agdam and many other regions in and all-around the disputed enclave all through a bloody 6-7 days battle just before Russia brokered a stop-hearth in November.

Actually returning won’t be straightforward. Mr. Pashayev suggests he is aware of his $135-a-thirty day period in incapacity payments and pension paid to displaced individuals won’t be ample to reclaim the daily life he lost in Adgam three many years ago, when he was even now a youngster.