Kut Village

Armenian Border Villages Remain Partially Surrounded

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By Gevorg Gyulumyan

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

VARDENIS, Armenia – Though not widely reported, throughout the day (July 29), Azerbaijanis were firing irregularly, sometimes single shots and sometimes in continuing bursts. Though the villagers of Sotk, Kut, Azat, Geghamabak, Norabak, Jaghatsadzor, Lower Shorzha, Upper Shorzha and some other villages in the region are exposed to immediate acts of aggression, they must continue their daily lives.

Lower Shorzha Village

They are deprived of the means of living as they cannot earn a living. Winter approaches but agriculture, which is practically the only source of income, has been paralyzed. People do not know what to do and the state has not taken any initiatives aside from making promises, which so far remain only on paper.

Lower Shorzha Village’s road

To make this clearer, I present some evidence which for the most part has been assembled by Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan.

Arman Tatoyan, center, with Geghamasar community leader

The villages of Kut, Jaghatsadzor, Geghamabak, Norabak, Azat, Lower Shorzha and Upper Shorzha have been deprived of their main pastures, grasslands and arable lands. The scarcity of animal feed has led to its cost to double or triple, and as a result animals are subject to mass killings. People are not yet sure whether they will be able to harvest their wheat and barley fields, or whether the Azerbaijanis may prevent this.

Arman Tatoyan, left, in Norabak

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The irrigation and drinking water supplies of several places are now under the control of Azerbaijan, which means that at any moment the population there may be subject to severe consequences, of which there already have been some examples. The villagers of Jaghatsadzor, Geghamabak and Norabak have suffered the most in this respect, as 100 percent of their drinking water is now under Azerbaijani control.

Over 500 hectares of pastures belonging to Kut have been seized by Azerbaijanis, along with 500 hectares of grasslands and 20 hectares of arable land. Norabak village has lost 1,000 hectares of pasture, 200 hectares of grasslands and 25 hectares of arable land. In addition, a large part of the unoccupied lands of this village are in the direct line of sight of the Azerbaijanis, which causes great unease among the local farmers.

The automobile roads and highways of Sot-Vardenis, Vardenis-Martuni and Vardenis-Chambarak are in the line of sight also of the Azerbaijanis.

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