How Lyon is mobilizing to help Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh

    How Lyon is mobilizing to help Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh

    The latter was intended for the Armenian wounded of the very recent war. A wish “for a lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh” was also formulated. The weapons, including the terrible drones supplied to Azerbaijan by Turkey which caused thousands of deaths among the Armenian fighting youth, have been silent since the beginning of November, when Russia imposed a ceasefire unfavorable to its “ Armenian ally. Politics has resumed its rights, war medicine continues to assert its own.

    Leader of the Lyon right, Etienne Blanc, in a very incisive speech, regretted the moderation of the wish voted by the municipal ecological and socialist majority, and with his group he abstained. Senator, he is in line with the decision of the Senate where the group of Republicans led by Bruno Retailleau obtained a unanimous vote (minus 1 vote) against the opinion of the government, asking for the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh by France .

    In Lyon, Etienne Blanc would undoubtedly have wanted the same thing from the municipal council: a wish which exposes the role of the Azerbaijani dictatorship in this war which has made thousands of deaths for territories of frozen mountains. But Mayor Grégory Doucet spoke again, his voice a little veiled by hours of municipal council, to defend the wording of his text which was voted widely: “Legally, we cannot deviate from France’s position and recognize Nagorno-Karabakh“.

    Politically, on the ground in any case, the situation seems to be frozen again after the carnage of 44 days (from September 27 to the ceasefire of November 9) of fighting during which the carpet of phosphorus or cluster bombs launched since the Turkish drones decimated the Armenian troops. A few minutes before Etienne Blanc, Georges Képénékian had spoken in the same Lyon city council which is held by video to thank for the vote of the help that the City of Lyon (twinned with the Armenian capital Yerevan for a very long time as recalled by Sonia Zdorovtzoff, assistant to International Relations who hopes to organize next May the foundation of Franco-Armenian cooperation canceled last month due to covid) will bring war wounded.

    Georges Képénékian had returned four days earlier from a mission alongside the Mérieux Foundation to assess the human damage caused by the war. He recounted in a few words during the city council what he had witnessed: 300 amputations of limbs, 1000 spinal injuries, wounds left by phosphorus bombs. He was mayor of Lyon, but it was as a doctor that he evoked the painting.

    Aram Gazarian is also a doctor. In December 1988 he left with Georges Képénékian to help the victims of the earthquake that had struck Nalband in northern Armenia. Today he runs a hand surgery department at the Edouard-Herriot hospital, but he goes to Armenia every year because there are still family, because he takes care of an association that seeks to protect Armenian monasteries from destruction by the Azerbaijani (who have now reclaimed the territory on which Dadivank stands), and above all because a hand surgeon cannot be useless in the face of the mass of the wounded. He left alone, at his own expense, with five suitcases of medical equipment in October, then with a micro team funded by the Armenian Medical Union of France in November, and is preparing to leave with the HCL in early January.

    With him, high-level medical staff: eight specialists including six Lyonnais from the HCL. Over-specialized doctors, such as a neuromyograph, that is to say a neurologist who uses techniques using electricity to determine the functioning state of the nerves in the human body. But also a resuscitator specializing in the treatment of pain, an infectious disease specialist capable of fighting infections that appear after reconstructive surgery and, of course, surgeons. For Aram Gazarian and his “team” who will be staying with the locals, it is not a question of explaining to their Armenian colleagues how to practice medicine, but of participating in the medical strategies initiated by local doctors, and sometimes of bringing cutting-edge know-how in areas where the Lyonnais are ahead.

    Because a war that has been brewing for more than twenty years, which has stirred up the Turkish regional power in its outbreak, and which has claimed thousands of victims, leaves traces among the wounded whom all the political and medical know-how of Lyon (among others around the world) will not be able to easily erase.


    Share Button