Azerbaijan launches Great Return with Jojug Marjanli
By Rashid Shirinov
The Great Return of Azerbaijanis into their native lands is already underway – the recently liberated Jojug Marjanli village in Jabrail region of Azerbaijan is the beginning of this glorious history.
This village of Azerbaijan has awaited long for the return of its residents. Now, after 23 years, the village and its houses are destroyed because of fierce fighting. During all these years, the native residents of the village lived with the only dream to return back to this place and believed that this day will eventually come.
Jojug Marjanli village is located in Jabrail region of Azerbaijan, in a valley near Araz river. A total of 283 households and 1,075 people were registered at 1,605 hectares of the village before it was occupied.
Jojug Marjanli had the district’s executive office, a high school, club, library, medical and obstetric post, a post office. The village also had a flour mill, cattle and sheep farms, warehouse and the administrative building of the collective farm. Residents were mainly engaged in viticulture, grain production, livestock and sericulture.
It was very dangerous to live in the village before the April battles of 2016. But the situation completely changed after the successful counter-attack of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. The Azerbaijani army valiantly prevented Armenian provocations in the front line and struck a devastating blow to the enemy for a short time. As a result, the Armenian troops were kicked back. The Azerbaijani troops released 2 hectares of territories from Armenian occupation, retook hills around the village of Talish, as well as Seysulan settlement, and also took over Leletepe hill located in the direction of Fizuli region.
After the enemy was expelled from Leletepe hill, it became safe to live in Jojug Marjanli village. Now, all the residents of the liberated village can return to their native land.
One of the main tasks after the April clashes was to strengthen the defense of the liberated territories, and to restore houses and households destroyed by the Armenian army. Therefore, on January 24, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev ordered to restore Jojug Marjanli village.
Under the order, 4 million manats ($2.13 million) were allocated from the President`s 2017 Contingency Fund to the State Committee on Deals of Refugees and IDPs for the construction of 50 private houses, a school building and relevant infrastructure at the first stage.
More than 190 families out of 400 families, who once lived in the village, have already expressed desire to return to their homeland. The construction work in the village will begin soon, as first 50 families out of 190 will be settled in this village at the first stage.
Work is underway on identification and assessment of the old property in the village, while ANAMA carries out demining operation in the area.
Moreover, the Internet Community of Azerbaijan (ICA) will provide free access to the Internet for Jojug Marjanli village, and Azerbaijan's postal operator Azerpoct will open a post office in the village.
Azerbaijan’s state communication operator Aztelekom will restore the telecommunications infrastructure in the village.
Moreover, representatives of foreign media outlets accredited in Azerbaijan were acquainted with Jojug Marjanli village on February 7.
The visit was organized by the State Committee on Deals of Refugees and IDPs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with President Aliyev's order on measures for the reconstruction of Jojug Marjanli village, which was liberated from the Armenian occupation.
The group included the representatives of Reuters, Associated Press, Anadolu news agencies, Turkish TV channel TRT, Iranian media outlets functioning in Azerbaijan, Russian news agencies RIA Novosti, Interfax, and others.
The group of nearly 30 people got acquainted with the operations to clean the territory of the village from mines, as well as received information on ongoing and planned work.
Thus, life returns to the liberated village, and such restoration work will be carried out in every Armenia-occupied settlement after Azerbaijan returns all of them in the foreseeable future.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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