Bosnian Serb refugees protest against evictions in Brcko

BANJA LUKA, Jul 14, 2000 -- (AFP) Some 4,000 Bosnian Serb refugees staged a protest Thursday in the northeastern town of Brcko against evictions in the town, the Bosnian Serb agency SRNA reported.

The refugees, currently occupying properties of Muslims and Croats expelled during Bosnia's 1992-95 war, claimed that the evictions were based on private connections and illegal documents.

They called for the resignation of a multi-ethnic apartment commission, in charge of evictions, and checking of eviction orders released so far, SRNA said.

The refugees also demanded to be given a state-owned land in Brcko, so they could permanently solve their refugee status.

No incidents were reported during the one-hour protest, held in the center of Brcko.

Under property laws imposed by the international community after the war, houses and flats in Bosnia must be returned to their lawful owners should they claim them back.

Occupants are to be evicted and provided with alternative accommodation by local authorities, an obligation which very often they say they cannot afford.

Original article