STEPANAKERT—On the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s violent invasion of Shahumian and Getashen, which resulted in the depopulation of those areas from its Armenian residents, a group calling itself the Shahumian-Getashen Compatriotic Union issued an announcement urging that the invasion and occupation of those lands by Azerbaijan to be included in the peace talks.
June 13, 1992 was a tragic day for the population of Shahumian and Getashen. The Azerbaijani militants forcibly deported the entire population of Getashen. The same happened to the residents of Shahumian a year later. Eighteen Armenian villages in Northern Artsakh were invaded by Azerbaijan and they still remain occupied by the Azeri armed forces.
The group said that 20 years have passed since the events and the refugees still live in poor social conditions, many of them residing in temporary housing facilities. The issue of Northern Artsakh has never being discussed during the negotiations taking place within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.
“The resolution of the issue of Armenian refugees is impossible without the settlement of the issue of Northern Artsakh, since about half a million refugees will be deprived of the opportunity to return to their homes because of the lack of real security guarantees,” the group’s statement reads.
“It’s necessary to speak about losses and defeats although it is hard,” said President of the Union Edik Balayan.
“Azeris are intensively re-settling the Armenian villages, razing the Armenian settlements, historic monuments and cemeteries to the ground. They are attempting to erase all traces of Armenian identity. The actions of Azerbaijan over the past 20 years come to prove that the Armenians have never had and cannot have an opportunity to live under Azeri rule. Those engaged in the Artsakh issue must come to understand this,” added the statement.