The Azerbaijani armed forces continue to remain, even more, to fortify themselves in the Tegh community of Syunik district of Armenia. “They came in and took 100-150 hectares of our people’s arable lands and pastures,” Argam Hovsepyan, a member of the Tegh Community Council of Elders and the head of the “Aprelu Yerkir” [Country to Live in] faction, told

To the observation that the National Security Service had released a message informing that, “as a result of the adjustment, the situation has improved”, the council member responded: “My dear, this is how I understand it: if they came forward to seize people’s lands, then they should have been returned. What improvement, if they have already put the 11th post in people’s lands and active engineering works are being carried out? People cannot go to the pastures that belongs to them?”

The Azerbaijani invasion of Tegh community in Syunik was announced for the first time on March 30, after the temporary road connecting to the new Lachin corridor through Aghavno was closed. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan assured at the government meeting in the morning that the Azerbaijani side has no positional advancement in the territory of Armenia, but later the National Security Service was more honest and announced that in the Tegh-Kornidzor section “the Azerbaijani side is located 100 to 300 meters further {in Armenia’s side] of the border”.

“In some places, the Azerbaijani side, without waiting for pre-arranged adjustments, started to position itself and carried out engineering works. According to the calculations of the Armenian side, there are five such points, where the Azerbaijani side is located 100 to 300 meters further from the border. It has now been agreed that cartographers from both sides will correct the situation. The Armenian side approaches the situation with the logic of not allowing escalation,” was stated in the message released by the National Security Service on March 30.

On April 1, however, the NSS corrected its message, assuring that the problem had been resolved. “A meeting was held in the Tegh-Kornidzor section with the participation of the representatives of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and works were carried out to adjust the border, as a result of which the situation in the given section has significantly improved.”

Argam Hovsepyan, who has been the leader of Aravus community for many years and is now a member of the Council of Elders in Tegh community, says that the NSS presented the situation correctly on March 30, but the information it provided on April 1 is not correct.

“He announced that there was an improvement, but there is nothing like that. The improvement would be for the Turks to go to their former places. People are not able to use their pastures: how can they go if Azerbaijanis have entered these lands and are not getting out; they are fortifying their positions. If you just saw what they made. At the moment, they have occupied up to 150 hectares of land,” Argam Hovsepyan said.

Tegh village has around 2500 inhabitants. Tegh community includes 7 settlements: Tegh, Aravus, Kornidzor, Karashen, Khnatsakh, Vaghatur, Khoznavar.

According to Hovsepyan, around 37 families of the village suffered as a result of the invasion of Azerbaijanis. As a matter of fact, these residents do not have pasture and land. But all the same, there can be no question of compensation, people’s lands must be freed.

“What should a villager live on? With his land. But today they came and they are taking that land too,” says the member of the community’s Council of Elders.

Hasmik Hambardzumyan

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