Un to return 740 Serb families back to Kosovo by late 2002

The international community plans to return 740 Serb families forced to leave Kosovo by Albanians back home by the end of 2002. This information has been disclosed in Pristina by Warner Blaser, a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. According to him, this mission will cost approximately 16 mln euros. According to UN data, since July 1999, when an international peacekeeping force was deployed in Kosovo, 350,000 Serbs and representatives of other ethnic groups left the region. Only 2,600 non-Albanian refugees have returned home ever since. The Head of the UN mission in Kosovo Michael Steiner has recently called the return of Serb refugees back to Kosovo a primary objective. The so-called donor-states are to play an important role in this effort by allocating necessary funds for the return and settlement of refugees. Steiner stressed that without such aid, neither multi-ethnic Kosovo, nor its integration into Europe would be possible.

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