Khojavand district: 25 years under occupation
October 2 marks the 25th anniversary of the occupation of Azerbaijan's Khojavand district by Armenian armed forces.
Khojavand was established on the basis of Martuni and Hadrut administrative regions after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan was abolished in 1991. The region has an area of 1,458 square kilometers and its population was about 41,216 people before the occupation. The region includes Khojavand city, two large settlements Girmizi Bazar and Hadrut, and 81 villages. As many as 100 residents of Khojavand died while fighting.
Near the Gyrmyzy (Red) Bazaar settlement, there were two samples of plane tree of 600 cm in diameter and 25 m in height, preserved as natural monuments. They were at the age of 1000 and 2000 years, while in Garakand village there was the forest reserve of 0.5 hectares with trees included into the Red Book and representing the tertiary period relict. In Khojavand, the forests of 25.5 hectares dominated by oaks were cut by Armenian occupants.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20% of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US, are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.