Rasim Musabekov: "Azerbaijan will not accept outrages of invaders"
23 years have passed since the date of occupation of Fizuli and Jabrail districts of Azerbaijan by the Armenian Armed Forces. On August 23rd, 1993, Armenian Armed Forces occupied 51 villages and the district center of Fizuli, after which more than 55,000 local residents were forced to leave their homes. The number of internally displaced people from Jabrayil reached 61,100 people. They settled in more than 2,000 settlements in 58 regions of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani MP, political expert, Rasim Musabekov, told Vestnik Kavkaza what is happening on the occupied territories now, as well as told about the prospects of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
- More than 116,000 people lost their homes as a result of the occupation of Jabrail and Fizuli districts. What are the fates of those people?
- Azerbaijan was in a very difficult situation, especially during first years. Many people were accommodated in unsuitable for living buildings, carriages on tracks and tents. Now almost all refugees moved to temporary housing with more or less acceptable living conditions. No tent cities, people live in humane conditions.
But it is clear that staying in these camps is temporary. These people have territories on the occupied territories where they were born, where graves of their ancestors. They continue to live with a hope for returning to their lands and homes.
- During the days of the occupation of these districts civilians could not leave the occupied territories on a narrow piece of land along the Araz River, as it was constantly shelled by the Armenian Armed Forces artillery. The situation forced refugees to swim cross the Araz to the Iranian side. Many of them drowned and they are still considered as missing. What is known about their fates?
- The total number of missing refugees is 6,000 people. Unfortunately, the majority of them were killed, but the facts of their death and burials were approved, including drowned in the Araz river. Certainly, some people managed to swim across the river to the Iranian side and then moved to Azerbaijan. Iranians helped refugees. Some refugees is likely died and remained on the occupied territories. Their bodies were not handed over to Azerbaijan. Some of refugees could drowned in the river while trying to escape from the advancing of the Armenian Armed Forces.
- Have any steps been taken in order to find those people and punish perpetrators?
- Certainly, we have a special committee, which is constantly engaged in this matter. But it is clear that our jurisdiction cannot be realized on the occupied territory. We cannot be there to carry out any search operations. But in these matters the cooperation with the Armenian side is very limited. Although a significant number of the bodies of those people have been found and handed over to our side during the conflict. If someone was alive were able to agree on a mutual basis and change to those who are in Azerbaijan.
- In 2006-2007, Armenian invaders burnt more than 16,000 hectares of territory of the district. What was their purpose?
- When the conflict began, the Armenian side intended to settle 300,000 people in the Nagorno-Karabakh. And in fact, initially there were only 185,000 people on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Even if we take into account expelled Azerbaijanis it will be about 145,000 people. For 25 years, this number should be increased to at least to 200,000 people. However, according to official figures, there are 140,000 Armenians, but in reality about 100,000.
These data prove the fact that the policy of territorial claims and territorial occupation has neither demographic nor financial base.
During the time of independence and aggressive policy in respect of neighbors Armenia lost 25% of its population. And this, I think it is the best characteristic of this mediocrity policy, which does not meet the international law and doesn’t promote fundamental interests of their own people.