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UN Sends Another Mission to Azerbaijan’s Karabakh Region

By Yaver Kazimbeyli October 11, 2023

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A convoy of the UN moving from Aghdam to Khankendi, Azerbaijan, October 9, 2023 / Report.Az

The United Nations (UN) sent its second mission to the Karabakh (Garabagh) region of Azerbaijan on Monday, to assess the situation and the humanitarian needs of the residents.

Led by UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Vladanka Andreeva, the mission previously visited the Karabakh region on October 1. On October 2, the UN published the outcome of the mission’s observations.

The evaluation report submitted by the mission confirmed that “they saw no damage to civilian public infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and housing, or to cultural and religious structures.” The mission also did not observe any destruction of agricultural infrastructure.

“The mission did not come across any reports – neither from the local population interviewed nor from the interlocutors – of incidences of violence against civilians following the latest ceasefire,” the UN said in a statement, referring to the end of one-day anti-terror operation in the Karabakh region on September 20.

In Aghdam district, which is part of the territories liberated from Armenian occupation in 2020, the mission observed destructions and mine action needs, as well as the reconstruction efforts that are being made by Azerbaijani government.

A large portion of the Armenian residents have voluntarily left the Karabakh region, despite Baku’s calls to stay and reintegrate. Although the Azerbaijani government pledged to guarantee all fundamental rights for their speedy reintegration, they opted to relocate to neighboring Armenia.

The Azerbaijani authorities facilitated the movement of the Armenian residents who voluntarily left the region via the Lachin road. Forty buses were dispatched by Baku to the border zone upon the request of the Armenian residents’ representatives.

The Azerbaijani authorities ordered the State Migration Service to register Armenian residents of the Karabakh region to ensure their sustainable reintegration into Azerbaijani society, based on the guarantees of fundamental rights, including cultural, educational, religious, and municipal.

Employees from the Labour and Social Protection Ministry have also been dealing with the issues related to the reintegration process.

The voluntary exodus of some part of the Armenian residents from the Karabakh region began after the Azerbaijani military conducted one-day anti-terror measures to neutralize illegal formations of the Armenian army in the region.

The 24-hour anti-terror operation from September 19-20 disabled almost the entire military infrastructure of the separatists, leaving them no choice but to surrender.

The capitulation of the illegal Armenian armed formations in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan came on September 20 after they retreated, agreeing to complete disarmament. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, in coordination with the Russian peacekeepers, confiscated weapons, ammunition, and military equipment from the illegal Armenian troops in the region.

Meanwhile, on September 28, the so-called leadership of the Armenian separatists in the Karabakh region announced self-dissolution.

A relevant decree was signed by the regime's self-proclaimed "president," Samvel Shahramanyan. The document states that "all institutions and organizations" of the separatist regime will be dissolved by January 1, 2024, and the so-called "Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) ceases to exist."

It also called on the Armenian residents of the Karabakh region to become acquainted with the conditions of reintegration presented by Azerbaijan, in order to subsequently make an independent and individual decision on the possibility of staying in (or returning to) the Karabakh region.