Will Azerbaijan accept ethnic Armenians’ ‘right to return’ to Nagorno-Karabakh ‘homeland’?

France 24
Oct 3 2023
The last bus carrying ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh left the region Monday, completing a grueling weeklong exodus of over 100,000 people — more than 80% of its residents — after Azerbaijan reclaimed the area in a lightning military operation. The bus that entered Armenia carried 15 passengers with serious illnesses and mobility problems, said Gegham Stepanyan, a human rights ombudsman for the former breakaway region that Azerbaijan calls Karabakh. He called for information about any other residents who want to leave but have had trouble doing so. In a 24-hour campaign that began Sept. 19, the Azerbaijani army routed the region's undermanned and outgunned Armenian forces, forcing them to capitulate. The separatist government then agreed to disband itself by the end of the year, but Azerbaijani authorities are already in charge of the region. For more on the Armenian exodus amid Azerbaijan's move to reaffirm full control of Nagorno-Karabakh, FRANCE 24's Genie Godula is joined by Olesya Vartanyan, International Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for the South Caucasus region.

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