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Vatican envoy urges international action on Bosnian refugees

MOSTAR, May 11, 2000 -- (AFP) Vatican Foreign Minister Jean-Louis Tauran urged international action on Wednesday to reduce the large number of Bosnians still displaced nearly five years after the end of the war.

"We are concerned and deeply hurt by the fact that a large number of people still lack jobs and homes," Tauran told journalists following a meeting with religious officials in the southern Bosnian town of Mostar.

"The international community has to do something to improve the situation, that people live normally," he added.

Since the end of Bosnia's 1992-95 war, the number of refugees has dropped from 1.8 people to only 1.2 million, of whom two-thirds are displaced within the country, according to figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Tauran, who arrived in Bosnia on Saturday at the invitation of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia's bishops, started his tour in Sarajevo.

He is to visit the Bosnian Serb administrative center of Banja Luka Thursday, before leaving the country Friday.



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