Following a Russian-brokered ceasefire that includes territorial concessions which will go into effect Sunday, Armenians are leaving villages in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and some are setting fire to their homes, The Associated Press and Reuters report. It’s unclear when and how many Azeris, many of whom were displaced from the same land in 1994, will return to the villages.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory, which is officially recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenians for decades, flared up in recent months. The fighting resulted in Azerbaijan seizing the key city of Shusha, leading to the ceasefire, which Russia — generally considered a staunch ally and protector of Armenia — plans to enforce with 2,000 peacekeepers.
The Armenians who are leaving their homes cast doubt on the idea that they could live peacefully beside the returning Azeris, per AP and Reuters, and many remain uncertain of where their next destination will be. “We are homeless now, do not know where to go and where to live,” one woman leaving her home told AP. Read more at The Associated Press and Reuters.
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