Displacement in a booming economy: IDPs in Azerbaijan HEIDI KJAERNET
The government of Azerbaijan is currently facing two main challenges: managing an influx of oil revenues; and dealing with the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with neighbouring Armenia. A key issue with regard to the latter is the management of some 600,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled the areas that came under Armenian control in the 1992-94 war. The IDPs have been kept in limbo, with the Azerbaijani authorities using them to legitimize an uncompromising stance in the negotiations over Karabakh. To make it clear that Azerbaijan intends one day to reassert control over the area and that the displacement therefore should be considered temporary, the government has striven to keep the IDPs segregated from the rest of Azerbaijani society.