Society 14:39 18/11/2020 NKR

Residents of Martakert villages in Artsakh taken by surprise after an order to leave their houses

The residents of several villages near Martakert town of Artsakh were taken by surprise on Tuesday as they were told to collect their things and leave their homes in one day.

Edgar Hovhannisyan from Hovtashen village, who took refuge in Armenia's Artashat town during the war, confirmed the report to Panorama.am, saying he is in his way to Artsakh to find out what was going on. In Hovhannisyan's words, the news was a big surprise for him and other residents, as they had been earlier asked to return to their houses.

"The village mayor called and informed about the ongoing evacuation, asked to come and take our things. It is not only about Hovtashen but other nearby villages as - Karmiravan, Nor Maragha. Nor Aygestan, Nor Seysulan. Those areas were part of Aghdam region for some time, and it appears to be the reason for evacuation to hand them over to Azerbaijan. Earlier, we were asked to return. Yesterday, a group of displaced women with children returned to our village. However, at six o'clock the village mayor received a call from administration and was told to evacuate the villagers," Edgar Hovhannisyan said.

To remind, the Aghdam region will be handed over to Azerbaijan on November 20, according to the joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, signed on November 9 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Hovhannisyan has not been able to get clear information from relevant bodies, as numerous calls to hotline remain unanswered. He has applied to a private organization to get a vehicle and move his property, yet have no idea where to go.

"No concrete information is given. One day we are asked to return, the other day - asked to leave the houses. Our property , live stock, all are there. We have elderly living in the village. Where can they go?" asked the Hovtashen resident.

Village mayor Hovik Shekyan confirmed the evacuation in a phone interview with Panorama.am. He informed that the residents had been earlier told their village was not among the territories to be handed over to Azerbaijan.Shekyan informed that Hovtashen has 75-80 households.

"We were about to pick fruits in our trees. We have good growing lands, hardworking farmers, and the state was supporting us. Now, I look at my house and think what I can take with me. I am trying to help others as well, as some of them are still on the frontline," the mayor said.



Source Panorama.am
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