Official: Azerbaijanis want to live in liberated Jojug Marjanli village
As many as 250 people have already applied for living in the restored Jojug Marjanli village although only 50 houses have been built there so far, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov said on June 20.
He made the remarks at the event to mark the World Refugee Day in Baku.
“The applications come from different regions of the country. People want to live in Jojug Marjanli,” Hasanov noted. The village was liberated by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces from the Armenian occupation in April 2016.
Deputy Prime Minister also accused some Muslim countries of providing assistance to Armenia: “Today, Armenians keep pigs in the Shusha mosque, and other states help Armenians. Is this the Islamic solidarity?”
Hasanov noted that nowadays some terms are being used incorrectly. “There are problems in the terms of ‘refugee’, ‘IDP’ and ‘migrant’. I think there is also a legal void in the term of ‘independent change of place of residence’,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister also recalled that despite the existence of the International Refugee Convention, there is no such a Convention on IDPs.
“For this reason, the rights of displaced persons are not regulated by any international instrument. These voids are created intentionally,” Hasanov said. “Why does not the European Parliament address the protection of the rights of refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan?”
He noted that Azerbaijan highly respects everybody, therefore Azerbaijan should also be treated with respect.
Deputy Prime Minister also stressed that last year's April fights showed once again that the Azerbaijani army is able to liberate all the occupied territories.
While addressing the event, Hasanov noted that predominant countries with a large territory and population are fighting for new geographical space, control of new regions and natural resources in the new territories. “Countries with small territory and population are suffering from this struggle,” he said.
Hasanov said that over the past 30 years the number of refugees and IDPs worldwide has doubled, and the number of conflict zones has tripled.
Hasanov noted with regret that Azerbaijan celebrates the World Refugee Day for the 16th year.
“We would like to celebrate the day when the refugees return to their homes. However, global developments show that the situation becomes more severe, because today the number of refugees, IDPs and migrants worldwide reaches 65 million people,” he said.
Hasanov added that one out of every 134 people living in the world is a refugee. “This is a terrible figure, especially given the fact that the number of refugees has suddenly increased over the past six years.”
Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Azerbaijan Furio De Angelis also addressed the event. He recalled that Azerbaijan is one of the countries with the biggest number of IDPs.
He noted that Azerbaijan has done a lot and continues to do for the citizens who became IDPs as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Azerbaijan underwent the tragedy of war due to this conflict. Azerbaijan suffered human losses and faced economic deprivation, however, despite this, it managed to cope with the problems and turn into a modern country,” said the UN official.
He also said that the measures taken by the Azerbaijani government to accommodate IDPs are worthy of approval and should be welcomed.
Refugees shouldn’t be left without attention, said Furio De Angelis, adding that the UNHCR Office hopes that international donors will pay more attention to refugee problems.
He also expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani government for the assistance in solving problems of asylum seekers from other countries.
Due to the ethnic cleansing policy carried out by Armenia and the Armenian occupation of NagornoKarabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan hit more than 1.2 million. With a population of over 9.8 million, Azerbaijan is among the countries carrying the highest IDP caseload in the world in per capita terms.
With the growing economic and political situation of the country, Azerbaijan pays much attention to the most difficult problems once concerning the refugees and IDPs. The state improves the living conditions of refugees and IDPs and it has adopted relevant state programs and legislative acts.
Today, the level of poverty among IDPs has decreased from 75 to 12 percent in Azerbaijan as a result of the measures taken by the government over the past 13 years.