(Kalbajar) “Stay here? Impossible, they would kill us! “. After the defeat of the Nagorno-Karabakh forces against the Azerbaijani army, the Armenians of the territories soon to be surrendered to Baku are convinced that they have only a choice between the suitcase and the coffin.
HERVÉ BAR FRANCE MEDIA AGENCY
In the mountainous district of Kalbajar and its eponymous capital, locals pack their bags with haste and with heavy hearts, before handing over to Azerbaijan on Sunday, according to the Moscow-sponsored agreement, these lands conquered by the Armenians in the 90s. In the village of Nor Getachen, at the foot of towering black rock cliffs forming a valley, ancient and indestructible Russian Kamaz trucks park here and there in front of the vegetable garden houses scattered along the stony road. Men pile up there in dumpsters sofas, washing machines, suitcases and the memories of a life that it is out of the question to abandon “to the Turks”, as the Azerbaijanis, the Turkish-speaking Shiite people, who had fled here are called these same lands thirty years earlier faced with the arrival of the Armenians.
“I cried all night when I heard the news,” said Haastan Eghiazarian, 68, in a frayed tracksuit and a crooked wig, busily rummaging through open cupboards and boxes. A jar of red peppers in oil sits on a bed without a mattress. Worn enamel crockery lurks all over the place, amid Cyrillic sculls and books. In this modest peasant house, where the two rooms are heated by a wood stove, the time has come to hastily sort out what will have to be abandoned. The mess is the same in front of the workbench where Zohrab, the half-blind husband of 82, struggles to decide what to take. “We don’t know where to go. With the help of the children, we’ll try to rent a small apartment in Yerevan. Maybe we can come back, don’t you think? “Asks the old man, looking a little lost. Let the cows No one came by to officially tell them to leave, “But we got the hang of it. There is no choice.
The Azerbaijanis would torture us or cut off our heads, ”grumbles Haïastan. Two sons came from the capital to lend a hand, the cattle were sold off. Because we must get out if possible before Saturday. “The house was not very luxurious, but we were happy here. The air is good and the grapes are growing well, “Zohrab already regrets, his eyes saddened looking at his bunches. “We will not burn the house. But we take Mickey, he’s a good dog. ” Armenian social networks are buzzing with rumors of homes burnt down by their owners before their departure. None were yet Thursday in the narrow secondary valley leading nearly 20 kilometers to the town of Kalbajar, already emptied of almost all its inhabitants.
But on Friday at least five houses were on fire along the Terter River in the village of Charektar. At the entrance to the village, a couple in their sixties are busy filling a huge truck. “Why give this city back to the Turks?” They have nothing to do here! The woman indignantly, cursing “those responsible for all this”. “We are going to leave the cows, we have found no one to buy them in time. We had to enlarge the house, do some work … We will not burn it down, but those who will come and take it do not deserve it ”, continues this mother of seven children and grandmother of 22 grandchildren, before releasing in a sob a “what are we going to do?” “. The Armenian inhabitants of this district arrived in the wake of the First War, encouraged by the aids and incentives of the government of “Artsakh”, the Armenian name of Nagorno Karabakh. Now, their empty houses are added to the ruined ones, scars of the conflict of the 1990s, which testify to a city once predominantly Azerbaijani. In the city center, men in fatigues hammer away the brand new metal sheets from the roof of a large building. Others unhook from windows. The city already has its appearance of a ghost town.
Read in Fench: https://www.lapresse.ca/international/2020-11-13/nagorny-karabakh/apres-la-defaite-les-armeniens-quittent-le-nagorny-karabakh.php