An ethnic Albanian refugee girl holds on to
a box of humanitarian aid.
Of the almost 1 million ethnic Albanian refugees who have fled
Kosovo, nearly half have already returned home. In Albania, work
continues to improve the main supply routes, to maintain refugee
camps and to prepare for the repatriation of refugees. Co-ordination
work continues with non-governmental organisations for the scheduled
hand-over of certain camps and the repatriation plan for refugees.
The United Nations has started to organise convoys from camps in
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) to areas
of Pristina which are considered reasonably safe.
Serbs living in the province of Kosovo fear retaliation from the
ethnic Kosovar Albanians. NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana,
has made an appeal to them to "give peace a chance". He
declared that KFOR forces "will do their very best to ensure
the safety and security of everyone in Kosovo, regardless of their
ethnic, religious or cultural background."
British KFOR troops disembark at Salonica,
Greece, for deployment to Kosovo. (Belga photo)
KFOR is continuing its deployment into Kosovo. Its role is to create
secure conditions to enable the international community under the
leadership of the UN:
- to rebuild Kosovo;
- to re-establish law and order;
- to ensure the safe return of refugees to their homes;
- to promote social and economic reconstruction;
- and to support the full investigation of all war crimes and
On 21 June, the UCK gave a written undertaking to demilitarise
and cooperate with NATO forces. So far, the terms of this agreement
have been respected by the UCK.
NATO Secretary General visited Pristina on 24 June where he met
with Kosovar Albanian leaders, Mr. Hauzai and Mr. Tahiri, UCK leaders,
Mr. Thaci and Mr. Surroi, and Kosovar Serb leaders, Mr. Artimije
and Mr. Trajkovic. During the visit, he reiterated NATO's determination
to uphold values -democracy, individual liberty and the rule of
law- which the Alliance has been defending for 50 years.
Dr Javier Solana also stated that more troops from NATO and non-NATO
countries are still arriving in Kosovo. Following the agreement
signed in Helsinki between the US State Department and the Russian
Ministry of Defence on Russian participation in KFOR, Russian troops
are also arriving in Pristina.
1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional