Desolation in Stepanakert: Red Cross Addresses Humanitarian Challenges in the Wake of Conflict

Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan, now stands almost deserted, with just a few remaining residents, according to reports from the Red Cross. The organization, utilizing megaphones to locate any remaining inhabitants, shared instances of discovering vulnerable individuals left behind, underscoring the surreal atmosphere engulfing the city.

During an online press conference, Marco Succi, an official from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), recounted an incident of finding a bedridden woman in her home. This woman has since been moved to Armenia via ambulance, as her neighbors, while leaving food and drinks, were unable to relocate her. The Red Cross, grappling with this challenging situation, is actively involved in identifying those with urgent humanitarian needs, whether for medical attention or psychological support, in this nearly deserted city.

Despite the eerie quiet, Stepanakert continues to have essential services such as electricity and water. Azerbaijani police now patrol the streets of a city that, until recently, was home to approximately 55,000 people.

The broader context of this emptiness stems from the recent military operation where Azerbaijan gained control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Out of the 120,000 inhabitants in the area, more than 100,000 swiftly sought refuge in Armenia. Nagorno-Karabakh, officially part of Azerbaijan but predominantly inhabited by ethnic Armenians with a separatist self-government, witnessed a mass exodus driven by fear of ethnic cleansing—a claim contested by Azerbaijan. The Red Cross remains actively engaged in addressing the ongoing humanitarian needs arising from this complex and challenging situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *