Albanian Daily News
Serbs plan return of 15 000 refugees to Kosovo

Apl 06, 2000

MITROVICA - Serb leaders from the northern sector of the divided town of Mitrovica have prepared a plan to repatriate about 15,000 Serb refugees to Kosovo by September, a Serb leader said Tuesday.

"We count on support by the international community and the Yugoslav government" to carry out the program, Oliver Ivanovic told AFP.

The plan for Serb repatriation would be conducted in three phases of return to villages in the western Kosovo region of Peja, Klina and Istok, as well as in the southern region between Prizren and Brezovica, Ivanovic said.

It includes plans to rebuild Serb houses burned or destroyed after their inhabitants fled the province.

The plan was presented to the head of the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR), general Klaus Reinhardt, Kosovo's UN administrator Bernard Kouchner, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sagato Ogata, and UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Balkans, Jiri Dienstbier, Ivanovic said. The US administration was also informed about it, he added.

"All of them have agreed that it is a way to solve problems (in Kosovo) and I hope this plan would be realized," Ivanovic said.

Some 240,000 Serbs and Gypsies have fled the province since the arrival of multinational forces last June due to violence or threats by Kosovar Albanians, according to the UN refugee agency.

Original article