UN mission: "Very few local population remaining" in Karabakh capital
A report on the observations of a United Nations mission to Nagorno-Karabakh following the swift takeover of the Armenian-populated enclave by Azerbaijani forces called for "efforts to be made to ensure the protection of the rights of the local population," while it also noted that the mission "saw very few local population remaining in the city."
The report said:
"The mission saw very few local population remaining in the city. The team heard from interlocutors that between 50 and 1,000 ethnic Armenians remain in the Karabakh region."
"The mission was struck by the sudden manner in which the local population left their homes and the suffering the experience must have caused. 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."
Without providing any information on the circumstances that led to the exodus of Karabakh's Armenian population, the report said in conclusion:
"The mission calls for all efforts to be made to ensure the protection of the rights of the local population. The UN in Azerbaijan stands ready to support the remaining local population and those who wish to return, in support of the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and in partnership with other stakeholders and partners."
The report neither made any suggestion as to how those "who wish to return" would be assisted and whether any means would be provided by the UN for the safeguarding of their security and rights under Baku's rule.
Photo: Stepanakert city following mass exodus of ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh, 2 October 2023 (Reuters)