Armenians return to Stepanakert after ceasefire with Azerbaijan

Published on November 16, 2020 by

Armenian refugees who fled a six-week war between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces have begun to return home to Nagorno-Karabakh to try to rebuild their lives after Russia last week brokered a peace deal over the enclave.

At least two convoys of buses carrying residents arrived in Stepanakert, the capital of the mountainous area, from neighbouring Armenia over the weekend.

Under the terms of the agreement, control over the enclave’s main city Stepanakert, in territory internationally recognized as Azerbaijan, will stay with ethnic Armenians despite them being forced to cede other cities like Shusha to Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, Russian peacekeepers arrived in Dadivank, territory due to be ceded to Azerbaijan within days, and were seen guarding a newly established checkpoint near a 12th-century Armenian Dadivank monastery, which overlooked a village that was burned down and abandoned by its residents after the peace deal.

Most residents had already left the Kalbajar district by Sunday, but some Armenian soldiers stayed behind to finish demolishing the houses in another village called Knaravan.

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