Photo de Anush Babajanyan
When fighting broke out earlier this month in Nagorno-Karabakh, a landlocked mountainous enclave in Azerbaijan, a conflict dating back more than a century was reignited.The region has long been disputed by ethnic Armenians, who form the majority of its population, and Azeris, who see the land as rightfully theirs.After the Armenians declared independence in 1991 the tensions escalated into all-out war, which killed around 30,000 people and displaced more than a million. Russia brokered a ceasefire agreement in 1994 which put an end to the fighting and left the region in Armenian hands — though its independence was never officially recognized.
Skirmishes along the border have continued for years, but April's violence was much more serious. Around 50 people were killed during four days of fierce fighting, which ended when Moscow brokered another ceasefire.The ceasefire seems to be holding but the spirit of Nagorno-Karabakh — Nagorno means "mountain" and Karabakh means "Black Garden" — and its people is heavy.As peace talks take place Azerbaijan says the only outcome of negotiations it will accept is the restoration of its control over Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts that are held by the separatists, while the Armenians say they will never agree to Nagorno-Karabakh being under Baku's control."Azerbaijan was created in 1918. And Karabakh — some five thousand years earlier. But it was given away. And now we live here and we want to live on our land without Azerbaijan," said Ribuk Danelyan, a resident of the region's capital Stepanakert."We do not want to go anywhere from here," said another Stepanakert resident, Ella. "This is our land, we want peace so that we can live here. And we do not want to leave for anywhere."All photos by Anush Babajanyan/4Plus.Reuters contributed to this report.
All photos by Anush Babajanyan/4Plus. Follow her on Twitter: @anushbabajanyan. Follow her on Instagram: @anushbabajanyan