YEREVAN – Azerbaijan aggression is causing a crisis in Davit Bek Village of Syunik. Mayor Beniamin Poghosyan reports that after the placement of Azerbaijani customs posts, communications with Goris, the largest nearby town, have become difficult, and this in turn creates many social and humanitarian issues.
“The issue for our villagers is that, for example, in order to travel to Goris, it is necessary for us to go to Kapan, and then take an alternative road to reach Goris. We cannot travel by the old road, as it is both dangerous and expensive now. The route has been lengthened by 22 kilometers,” said the mayor on November 23.
He added, “We also cannot go to our neighboring village of Shurnukh as before. There is a danger that soon they will also place checkpoints in that section. This is the area which the prime minister of the country calls ‘Chayzami,’ considering it Azerbaijani territory. Is it possible to do such a thing? They [Azerbaijanis] have a check point there too. They have not set it up yet, but they are in the Karmrakar sector. It is the area called Chayzami, through which we go to Shurnukh.”
Poghosyan said that he does not know precisely when the Azerbaijani checkpoint or customs point will be installed, but he is worried by the fact that the Azerbaijanis are so close to the village’s homes. He exclaimed, “The Azerbaijanis are 1-1.5 km. distance from Davit Bek Village in Syunik Province. It is true that at the moment we do not have any problems concerning agricultural work, but the inhabitants are scared. We don’t see any problem at the moment, but every second is dangerous.” He added, “No one knows what may happen even within the span of the next hour.”
Poghosyan stated that the villagers can only make their livelihoods through agriculture or animal husbandry and though there have not been any Azerbaijani provocations so far, the situation of both are not good. People are unable to care for their animals, so they are forced to sell them.
The same insecurity reigns in Gegharkunik Province. Geghamasar community head Hakob Avetyan noted that when there is shooting, it can be heard at the village and the flashes can be seen. On November 23, he remarked: “This is simply terrorism. There are women and children living in these villages who nearly every day are subject to Azerbaijani psychological oppression. This issue must be solved.” He said that concentrations of Azerbaijani forces are occurring, so that only a few kilometers from the village, Azerbaijani tanks, artillery equipment and troops are arrayed.