Haut-Karabakh, nouvelles frontières.

Reportage réalisé pour Libération en Avril 2023 le long des frontières Armeno-Azeri. 


Du côté arménien de l’enclave que se disputent l’Arménie et l’Azerbaïdjan, l’isolement des habitants s’intensifie à mesure que les opérations azéries rognent leurs frontières. Lorsque l’on prend la direction de la frontière avec l’Azerbaïdjan, les hauteurs montagneuses de la région de Syunik donnent à voir une multitude de routes qui s’entrecroisent. De l’autre côté de la vallée, se trouvent les territoires contrôlés par Bakou depuis la fin de la guerre en 2020, et, au milieu d’eux comme un îlot, le Haut-Karabakh resté sous contrôle arménien. Les deux pays se disputent l’enclave montagneuse, autoproclamée indépendante depuis la chute de l’Union soviétique en 1991. Alors que l’unique route qui la relie au reste du territoire arménien est bloquée par l’Azerbaïdjan depuis décembre, la situation est devenue encore plus critique depuis que les autorités de Bakou ont installé, le 23 avril, un check-point au début du nouveau tracé construit par l’Arménie pour contourner le blocus.


Texte de Blandine Lavignon (Libération)

A shepherd and his sheep on the road between Yerevan and Goris

Portrait of Ararat with his mother Rosa. 

Ararat draws a map of the village, explaining the evolution of the border since the last Nagorno-Karabakh war and the loss of part of the village, now located in Azerbaijan. 

Two residents of Shurnukh look at Ararat's garden. The new borders forbid him to use his garden, now located in Azerbaijan. He stays in his house waiting for the end of the works of the new houses, located upstream of the village.

Laura Tovnasyan, 64, a resident of the village of Shurnukh whose house has been cut in two since the new border in 2020.

The old road used to connect Goris with Kapan, the largest cities in the Syunik region. Today it passes through several points in Azerbaijan. It is therefore almost impossible to use it. On both sides of the road there are many military observation points, often connected by long trenches.

Mariné and her young son, residents of the village of Shurnukh and refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh

After the war the Armenian government started a project to rebuild new houses for the people who lost their homes. Today, the manpower and money are not coming fast enough and the construction of the houses is almost at a standstill.

Portrait of Masis Arakelyan, 73 years old and his grandson Masis in the village of Vaghatur.

Vaghatur

Portrait of Khatchik, an employee of the Vaghatur town hall who shows the damage in the village.

On the way back, two men stopped to show us the different Armenian and Azeri military posts located a few hundred meters from the road. 

A sign indicating, to the right, the new road to Karabakh. Opposite, a few soldiers guard the entrance to the Lachine corridor, now completely blocked by Azerbaijan.

Portrait of Davit Ghulunts, mayor of the village community of Tegh.

Landscape of the corridor and the new road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. In the center, a bridge and the installation by Azerbaijan of a checkpoint at the Latchine corridor, completely blocking access to the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Under the bridge, a second road is being built by Azerbaijan along the border. A blue sign now indicates the entrance to Azerbaijan.

Portrait of Artur Hovhannisyan, representative of the Republic of Artsakh in Goris to help the inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Young Armenian soldiers in an army truck along the road between Goris and Yerevan.

Alexandre Bagdassarian © All rights reserved
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