Azerbaijan’s army showed off the big weapons they took from Nagorno-Karabakh, while people are being told that many civilians don’t have a place to live after the Armenian separatists gave up.
Tanks, guns, and RPGs were shown to the BBC. This was the first time journalists were allowed access since separatists agreed to give up their weapons this week.
Armenian leaders of a specific ethnic group are reporting that many people are without access to food or a place to live.
Only one delivery of 70 tons of food was allowed.
The group of vehicles from the International Red Cross was the first to arrive in the area that both sides are arguing about, ever since Azerbaijan took control of it in a very quick military movement five days ago. Russia has given aid, but we don’t know how much.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a hilly place in the South Caucasus. It is officially considered part of Azerbaijan by the world, but for the past 30 years, a lot of it has been under the control of Armenians who live there.
On Saturday, Armenia asked the UN to send a team to Nagorno-Karabakh to watch over the rights of Armenian people. They believe that their lives are in danger.
Azerbaijan says it is not guilty and wants to make the Armenian people who live there equal citizens of the country again.
Around 200 Armenian people, including 10 ordinary people, lost their lives when Azerbaijan’s military entered the area earlier this week.
Now, thousands of people who have been forced to leave their villages and are no longer with their families are sleeping in tents or outside near the airport in the main city of Stepanakert, which Azerbaijan refers to as Khankendi. These details were shared by officials in Karabakh.
The airport is close to where Russian peacekeepers stay, and five of these peacekeepers died during the fighting.
On Saturday, Azerbaijan announced that it is cooperating with Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh to take away weapons from ethnic Armenian forces. This was an important condition for Azerbaijan to agree to a ceasefire.
In the outdoor area of a military headquarters in Susa, which is located close to the main city of the region, Azeri military officials displayed weapons that were surrendered by separatists and showed their pride in doing so.
The collection included a tank that looked like a T-72, some armored vehicles called BMP-2, guns, rifles, protective clothing, and explosives called mines. The BBC believes that the space covered was the same as half of a soccer field.
The defense ministry of Russia said they have given away six vehicles with armor, over 800 guns, and about 5,000 ammunition units up until now.
We don’t know what will happen to the 120,000 Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan wants to bring the region back together and a official from Azerbaijan told the BBC that nobody is forcing anyone to leave.
“He said that if we didn’t care about innocent people, like civilians, women, and children, we would have just gone into Khankendi. ”
Another person in authority said that the army had set up places for refugees to stay outside of Karabakh, and these places were ready to welcome people. However, both sides don’t trust each other and some Armenians might not want to leave.
Azerbaijan has informed the UN that it will consider Karabakh Armenians to be treated as equal individuals. But now, it is up to the people of Azerbaijan to decide their future.
It says that if Karabakh fighters give up their weapons, they can leave for Armenia if they want to, and they won’t face punishment.
Armenia has created places to shelter many people, but the Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, prefers that they stay unless it is necessary for them to leave.
Many people in Stepanakert have said to the BBC that they are probably going to decide to leave.
I don’t know anybody who wants to stay in this place. I know some elderly people who are related to me and they lost their sons in past wars. They would rather die in this place, journalist Siranush Sargsyan said.
But for many people, especially those in my generation, this is already the fourth war they have experienced.
US Senator Gary Peters, who is leading a group of politicians to the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, stated that the people living in Nagorno-Karabakh are extremely scared. He also requested the formation of a team of international observers to help monitor the situation.
“He said that it is important for the world to know everything that is happening in that place. ” The Azerbaijani government says there is nothing to see or worry about. But if that’s true, we should let international observers come and see for themselves.
Areas where the BBC went appeared to have no people. Only some people like police, soldiers, and a few construction workers were visible.
The Russian peacekeepers that the BBC saw did not smile, and they seemed serious. However, up to now, there hasn’t been any serious violence since the surrender.