GENERAL INFORMATION

The most tragic pages of the history of Azerbaijan in XX century are linked to refugees and IDPs. Forces interested in geostrategic position, rich natural resources of Azerbaijan moved Azerbaijanis by use of force from their historical lands, territorial claims of Armenians resulted in deportation of Azeris from their lands in 1905, 1918-20, 1948-53 and 1988-93.

250,000 Azerbaijanis were fired from their historical lands as a result of the last ethnic cleansing policy committed by Armenia in 1988-1993 and found refuge in Azerbaijan. Also, nearly 50,000 Ahyska (mesheti) Turks deported from Middle Asia in 1990 took refuge in Azerbaijan.

From 1988, Azerbaijanis were fired by use of force from 126 settlements of Daghlig Garabagh, the integral part of Azerbaijan. One of the most tragic incidents of XX century was committed – Khojaly, the city in Daghlig Garabagh populated by 600 Azeris, was completely destructed in a night by Armenian armed forces due to support of the 366th regiment of soviet army, leaving 613 civilians, including 106 women, 83 children and 70 elderly, dead, over 1000 disabled. 1275 people were taken captive, 8 families completely destroyed, 56 persons burned alive, beheaded, gouged out of eyes.

As a result of the Armenia’s military aggression to Azerbaijan from 1988, 20% of Azerbaijan’s lands, including Daghlig Garabagh and 7 adjoining districts were occupied, about 700,000 Azerbaijanis became IDP being fired from those territories, also settlements adjoining Armenia and temporarily resettled in 62 cities and districts, over 1600 compactly resettlement objects within the republic.

Daghlig Garabagh and adjoining districts, 1 village of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchyvan, 80 of Agdam district, 54 of Fuzuli district, 13 of Terter district and 7 of Gazakh district are under occupation still.

In Azerbaijan there are 3119 persons looking for asylum, majority of which are Chechens with Russian citizenship, persons from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Palestine.

At the moment, there are about a million refugees, IDPs and persons looking for asylum in Azerbaijan.

The military aggression by Armenia has left 20,000 Azeris dead, 100,000 wounded, 50,000 disabled, 4499 missing, 783 of which approved as captive and hostage upon testimonies of captives and other sources.

17,000 sq.km of most fruitful lands of Azerbaijan has been occupied, 900 settlements, 130939 houses, 2389 industrial and agricultural objects, 1025 educational and 798 medical centers, 1510 cultural institutions, 5198-km motorway, 348 bridges, 7568-km water and 76940-km electric line destroyed as a result of the military aggression. Armenian aggressors have destructed with special brutality the cultural monuments of Azerbaijan in the occupied areas, plundering and burning 12 museums, 6 art galleries, 9 palaces of historical significance, looting 40,000 museum exhibits of unique historical importance, outraging 44 temples and 18 mosques. 4,600,000 books and unique manuscripts have been destroyed at 927 libraries destructed and burnt.

It is impossible to exactly count the damage caused by Armenian aggressors to national cultural centers of Azerbaijan in the occupied territories, since resources plundered and destroyed are the unique patterns of culture not of Azerbaijan only but of the universal civilization as well. Beside material and moral-psychological harm caused to population, damage caused to economy of Azerbaijan totals more than $60 billion according to initial and not completely specified information.

For more than 15 years vast majority of IDPs has been living under hardest conditions in tent settlements, built-in houses of Finnish type, farms, mud-huts and roadsides, cargo cars on railways, public buildings, hostels, educational institutions and kindergartens, sanatoriums, pensions, rest houses, tourist bases, buildings construction of which is incomplete, at relatives and other places.

In 1993, UN Security Council adopted resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884 on settlement of the conflict soon and peacefully, release of the occupied territories of Armenian armed forces, return of refugees and IDPs to native lands.

Ceasefire agreement was signed in May 1994, respective decisions were adopted at OSCE summits held in Budapest in 1994, Lisbon in 1996 and Istanbul in 1999 on settlement of the conflict peacefully and politically. Execution of unfair Amendment 907 of the US Congress prohibiting help to Azerbaijan was stopped in January 2002.
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