Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Äzerbaijanis who fled conflict look to return home, if it exists

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — As Azerbaijan regains management of land it misplaced to Armenian forces a quarter-century in the past, civilians who fled the combating many years in the past marvel if they will return home now — and if there’s nonetheless a home to return to.An estimated 600,000 Azerbaijanis had been displaced within the 1990s conflict that left the Nagorno-Karabakh area underneath the management of ethnic Armenian separatists and enormous adjoining territories in Armenia’s palms. During six weeks of renewed combating this fall that ended Nov. 10, Azerbaijan took again elements of Nagorno-Karabakh itself and sizeable swaths of the outlying areas.More territory is being returned as a part of the ceasefire settlement that stopped the newest combating. But as Azerbaijani forces found when the primary space, Aghdam, was turned over on Friday, a lot of the recovered land is uninhabitable. The metropolis of Aghdam, the place 50,000 individuals as soon as lived, is now a shattered break.Adil Sharifov, 62, who left his hometown in 1992 throughout the first conflict and lives in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, is aware of he’ll discover comparable devastation if he returns to town of Jabrayil, which he longs to do.Jabrayil is without doubt one of the outlying areas regained by Azerbaijani troops earlier than the latest combating ended. Soon after it was taken, considered one of Sharifov’s cousins went there and informed him town was destroyed, together with the massive home with an orchard the place Sharifov’s household as soon as lived.Nonetheless, “the day when I return there will be the greatest happiness for me,” he stated.For years, he stated, his household had adopted reviews about Jabrayil on the web. They knew the destruction was horrible, however Sharifov’s late mom retained a determined hope that their home had been spared and held on to the keys.”I will build an even better house,” he vowed.Ulviya Jumayeva, 50, can go back to better, though not ideal circumstances in her native Shusha, a city that Azerbaijani forces took in the key offensive of the six-week war.Story continuesHer younger brother, Nasimi, took part in the battle and phoned to tell her the apartment their family fled in 1992 was intact, though mostly stripped of the family’s possessions.“According to him, it is clear that Armenians lived there after us, and then they took everything away. But our large mirror in the hallway, which we loved to look at as children, remains,” Jumayeva said, adding: “Maybe my grandchildren will look in this mirror.”“We all have houses in Baku, but everyone considered them to be not permanent, because all these years we lived in the hope that we would return to Shusha,” she stated. “Our hearts, our thoughts have always been in our hometown.”But she acknowledged that her feelings toward Armenians have become more bitter.“My school friends were mostly Armenian. I never treated ordinary Armenians badly, believing that their criminal leaders who unleashed the war were to blame for the massacre, war, and grief that they brought to their people as well,” Jumayeva stated.”But after the present occasions, after the shelling of peaceable cities … after the Armenians who are actually leaving our territories, that are even outdoors of Karabakh, burn down the homes of Azerbaijanis through which they lived illegally … one thing fractured in me. I modified my angle towards them,” she said. “I understood that we, Azerbaijanis, will not be able to live peacefully next to the Armenians.”While Sharifov has less to go back to, he has a more moderate view, saying the two ethnic groups with different religious traditions still have the potential to live together amicably.“If the Armenians observe the laws of Azerbaijan, and do not behave like bearded men who came to kill, then we will live in peace,” he stated. “The time to shoot is over. Enough casualties. We need peace, we are not looking for conflict.”___Associated Press writers Aida Sultanova in London and Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this story.

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