Strategic plan of the nation unification to be implemented

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
May 7 2004


For already 16 years the Armenian refugees displaced from Azerbaijan
have settled in Armenia and Artsakh. Their social and economic
problems have been mainly solved, of course, however, there are yet
many refugees who still have problems. The most important of the
problems of many refugees is, perhaps, the housing problem. There are
a number of families in Stepanakert living in bad conditions. Of them
is the family of Alexey Khachatrian who moved from Sumgait to their
homeland in 1988. The family of four members lives in a two-room
apartment of the dormitory building. 69 years-old, disabled of second
degree A. Khachatrian says, it is unbearable to live in such
conditions. The apartment needs repairs, there is no gas and
telephone. He has no possibility to buy a new apartment or repair it.
In the first years of returning to Karabakh he was the thirteenth in
the list of providing apartments, now he is the 86th. “When the
Artsakh movement began we could move to Russia but preferred to return
to the motherland. Of course, we expected that we would be provided
with a flat, we would receive attention and care, however, as a result
we have been living for 16 years in terrible conditions. And this
seems not to interest anyone. It is unbearable to feel alien in one’s
own country,” says A. Khachatrian. The family of Nazik Muradian also
moved from Sumgait. For sixteen years already they have been living in
the dormitory of Artsakh State University. N. Muradian says they have
exchanged their apartment in Baku with a house in one of the villages
of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia, but then they have handed it in expecting to
get a house in Karabakh. Presently she and her 5-year-old daughter
live in a two-room apartment and are grateful to the university for
allowing them to live in the dormitory of the university. Here
N. Muradian lost her parents; her father died at the age of 52, her
mother 56. She has been waiting for 16 years to be provided a flat but
so far nothing has changed. She does not believe that the law on
refugees brought into effect recently will anyhow favour the
settlement of the existing problems (especially the problem of
housing). The head of the agency for migration, refugees and
resettlement under NKR government Serge Amirkhanian is of the opposite
opinion. He informed that presently the number of the refugees in the
republic totals 25 thousand. A considerable part has been provided
with apartments, however, there are a lot of families who continue to
live in dormitories, temporary buildings and with their
relatives. According to the head of the agency, the law on refugees
adopted in December 2003 aims at the settlement of the housing and
social-economic problems of refugees. The law maintains the order of
giving or refusing temporary shelter to persons applying for the
status of refugees, losing the status, the order of providing
temporary shelter to persons to foreign citizens, persons without
citizenship, the authority of the corresponding state agency of the
NKR government, the rights and duties of refugees and persons applying
for status, the guarantees of their legal and social
security. According to Amirkhanian, after the registration of the
refugees and maintenance of their privileges it will be possible to
solve some of the problems. He assures that the agency tries to
possibly help the refugees. “If any refugee family living in
dormitories or temporary houses wishes to settle in the areas where
the government implements the program of resettlement, the agency is
ready to aid them. These families will be provided with a detached
house, financial aid, loan, etc. By the way, already five such
families have applied to us, and they already live in the mentioned
settlements,” said Serge Amirkhanian. The agency has plans connected
with the repairs of the houses of the refugees and solution of certain
problems, which will be implemented through benefactors. S.
Amirkhanian also informed that a block will be repaired in Shoushi and
according to their wish the families may settle there. The head of the
agency Serge Amirkhanian said that hopefully all the problems will be
solved gradually. “Once we received more than 40 thousand refugees in
Karabakh, however, unfortunately, we had no opportunity to solve all
their housing, social problems. Therefore part of them left
Karabakh. The problems of resettlement, social-economic and housing
problems of the refugees should be considered as the problem of the
entire Armenian nation. Each person should make their contribution to
this task. And the more refugees and resettlers we can accommodate,
the more the strategic plan of nation unification will become a
reality. In this way the problem of Karabakh will be solved too,”
added Serge Amirkhanian.