The International Red Cross has proposed that the authorities in Artsakh and Azerbaijan begin organizing measures to search for the bodies of soldiers killed during recent fighting and to return them to their families.
Zara Amatouny, Communications Officer at the IRC Office in Armenia, told Hetq, “Right now, we don’t have that approval to work. We have a specialist there who is ready to get to work immediately. We also have the resources.”
Once receiving the go-ahead by authorities, the IRC can also begin collecting information about those soldiers missing in action and civilians who might be missing. Currently, there isn’t detailed information on the matter and delegation members are following news reports.
The IRC has a 15-person delegation in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh. Today, three staffers from the Yerevan office joined them.
Amatouny said that the IRC is also continuing to evaluate the needs of civilians temporarily evacuated from the war zone.
“Right now, we’re talking about at least 3,000 people. We also know that most of them have found refuge in safer towns and villages, staying with friends and relatives. We have visited many of them to ascertain what their immediate needs are,” Amatouny told Hetq.
Any information the IRC has regarding atrocities committed against the civilian populace will be passed on to the proper authorities. The IRC has no punitive power and is mandated to solely collect evidence and present it.