Nagorno-Karabakh's edge of despair: Death's shadow and the desperate flight for survival (Updated)
As relayed by Civilnet news, the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has witnessed over 200 deaths and around 400 injuries, numbers which are feared to rise. Local sources indicate that the situation for approximately 120,000 Armenians in the region remains alarming.
In the wake of escalating tensions, over 7,000 civilians have evacuated or fled areas allegedly seized by Azerbaijani forces. Many are seeking temporary shelter at the Stepanakert airport, now under the watch of Russian peacekeepers.
Worryingly, several residents are believed to be trapped in the towns of Martakert and Martuni due to barriers set up by Azerbaijani forces, cutting off access to Stepanakert.
Amidst the crisis, there's been a surge of Karabakh residents looking to exit the region. The Armenian capital has made the welfare of these citizens a priority. In response to accusations of not assisting refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan clarified his stance. He announced the establishment of a working group dedicated to arranging accommodations for any refugees displaced since Azerbaijan's September 19 attack.
“The Lachin Corridor has been inaccessible for ten months. However, roads within Armenia leading to this corridor have remained open throughout this period,” Pashinyan asserted, referencing a statement by Armenpress. He further stated that preparations, including booking hotel rooms and setting aside several tens of thousands of other rooms, were underway. “We foresaw this as a potential scenario,” added Pashinyan.
In a glimmer of hope amidst the turmoil, an agreement has been brokered between officials from Stepanakert and Baku, enabling Azerbaijan to send essential food and fuel to Nagorno-Karabakh.
While Azerbaijan's presidency confirmed the request for humanitarian aid, especially fuel, by Nagorno-Karabakh's representatives, the exact delivery schedule remains unclear. The enduring blockade by Azerbaijan, now over nine months long, has pushed residents of Nagorno-Karabakh to the edge of starvation.