By Vafa Ismayilova
Amnesty International has shared photos from the newly-liberated Azerbaijani region of Kalbajar proving damages inflicted on it by Armenia.
“Smashed graves in a cemetery in Kalbajar region of Nagorno Karabakh, of Azerbaijanis who were buried here before the 1993 Armenian occupation. Some graves were freshly smashed, seemingly by Armenians who left the area last week after 27 years of occupation,” Amnesty International‘s Senior Crisis Advisor Donatella Rovera wrote on her Twitter account.
She also posted pictures of houses in the region describing them as stripped bare.
“During 27 years of occupation all was looted - not a door, nor a window, not a single roof tile was left in the houses of the Azerbaijanis who had to flee in 1993,” she said.
Rovera also shared on Twitter views of the mother of Nigar who was killed on the eve of her 15th birthday with 13 relatives and neighbors, including several children, in a ballistic missile strike launched by Armenia’s forces on Ganja city of Azerbaijan, on October 17, 2020.
“'She was my only child, she was all I had', Nigar’s mum told me. Anar and Nurcin and eight neighbors were killed in their sleep their homes in another ballistic missile strike by Armenia’s forces on 11 October. 'Anar and Nurcin have 2 children who now are orphans', Anar’s father told me, overcome by grief, by his son’s destroyed home,” Rovera tweeted.
As a result of the Armenian armed attacks between September 27 and November 10, over 90 Azerbaijani civilians were killed, including children and women, more than 400 were injured and over 3,000 houses either fell into disrepair or were completely destroyed. Cities located near the war zone were subjected to shelling, mortar and artillery shelling almost on a daily basis, but there were also ballistic missile attacks on the cities of Ganja, Mingachevir, Barda and other cities. Those were targeted attacks aimed at killing the civilian population.
The Armenians vacated Kalbajar region on 25 November under the trilateral agreement signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on November 10.
Kalbajar was among seven Azerbaijani regions that got occupied by the Armenian armed forces during the first Karabakh war. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. In 1992, the Armenian armed forces occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.
Launching a large-scale military operation on March 27 in 1993, the Armenian armed forces finally occupied Kalbajar on April 2. As a result, 511 people were killed in Kalbajar, which has a territory of 1,936 square metres. Some 321 people were captured and went missing.
Armenian occupiers destroyed more than 500 industrial, construction, catering and retail facilities, 97 schools and 76 health facilities. Kalbajar region’s 53,340 residents became IDPs.
After Kalbajar’s occupation, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 822 demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Armenian troops from the region and other occupied areas of Azerbaijan. Along with this resolution, Armenia failed to fulfil all other three UN Security resolutions (853, 874 and 884) on the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its troops from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
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