Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

Azerbaijan: A Long Displacement

Publisher Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Publication Date 19 November 2011
Citation / Document Symbol CRS Issue 618
Cite as Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Azerbaijan: A Long Displacement, 19 November 2011, CRS Issue 618, available at: [accessed 24 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Nagorny Karabakh conflict ended in 1994 with a ceasefire, but no political settlement. The lack of resolution means temporary displacement has become protracted for many of those who ran from their homes amid the conflict.

Internally displaced persons, IDPs, like those interviewed in this video grew up either in Nagorny Karabakh – then an autonomous region of Soviet Azerbaijan – or in adjacent areas like Aghdam. By the end of the conflict, both Karabakh itself and several adjoining districts were under Armenian control, and remain so to this day.

Yet members of this older generation retain a strong personal connection to their home places¸ and many dream of returning one day. Life as refugees has not been easy, and many still life in sub-standard housing with poor amenities.

Ahmed, now 65, came from the town of Shusha – now in Armenian-held territory and virtually deserted –fought on the Azerbaijani government side in the war. He has since built a house on land he acquired, but his heart is still in the home he had in Shusha.

The same is true of Anvar, 52, who says, "I want to go home and breathe the air there. My daughters grew up here and they don't remember what the air in Karabakh was like. But they still want to return, I'm sure of that."

Copyright notice: © Institute for War & Peace Reporting

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