More Serbs willing to return to Croatia

BANJA LUKA, Jul 13, 2000 -- (AFP) The number of Serb refugees in the Bosnian Serb entity willing to return to Croatia is on the increase, a United Nations official said here Wednesday.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) chief in Banja Luka Cesar Dubon told a press conference that his office had received 300 applications for return from Croatian Serbs in June alone, compared to a total 600 since the beginning of the year.

Since June 1998, 2,500 Serbs have applied to the UNHCR to return to Croatia, of whom 800 actually returned, Dubon said.

These figures include only applications registered with the UNHCR, and many other returns were registered with local authorities, he added.

Some 280,000 Serbs left Croatia during the 1991-95 regional wars, according to UNHCR figures. Some 73,000 have returned so far, Croatian authorities say.

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