Armenia and Azerbaijan have both returned the remains of soldiers and civilians who died during the Karabakh wars to their respective countries. Speaking at the conference “Identification of Missing Persons - Humanitarian Approach” that took place on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on 30th August, the Azerbaijani Secretary of the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Missing Persons and Hostages, Ismayil Akhundov, announced that Armenia had returned the presumed remains of 138 Azerbaijanis who disappeared during the First Karabakh War between 1988 and 1994. Azerbaijan meanwhile announced that they had returned the bodies of 1,713 Armenian military personnel.
Solving the emotive and painful subject of persons gone missing during the Karabakh wars is an important part of creating lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, 776 Armenians are still considered missing from the First Karabakh War, and 345 people – from the Second Karabakh War, said Akhundov. Azerbaijan on the other hand claims that 3,890 Azerbaijanis went missing during the First Karabakh War.