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Ambassadors, representatives meet
to discuss visit

By Sgt. Kerensa Hardy
First published in
SFOR Informer#117, July 11, 2001

Camp Butmir – All Ambassadors to BiH or their representatives gathered at SFOR headquarters June 13 to make final preparations for the annual Ambassadors’ Visit, scheduled for June 27.
Deputy Head of the Reconstruction and Return Task Force Jayson Taylor chaired the pre-briefing and introduced representatives from the areas of multinational divisions (MND) that will be visited during the trip. Each representative gave a brief presentation describing what the ambassadors will see during the June 27 visit.
Bosanski Brod/Srpski Brod – This area is mainly populated by B-Serbs. Before the war, it was multi-ethnic – 12 percent Bosniac, 33 percent B-Serb, 41 percent B-Croat and 14 percent other.
The return to Brod began around 1997 with about half of the returnees coming from Croatia (area of Slavonski Brod). The rest came from different areas of BiH.
Janja, Bijeljina Municipality – Bijeljina is in northern BiH and is politically dominated by the B-Serb nationalist party, SDS.
Janja is now 75 percent B-Serb, whereas it was 95 percent Bosniac before the war.
Thirteen violent incidents were reported in Janja in 2000, not including serious events that included arson, stoning and grenade attacks against returnees July 24-26. Seventeen incidents have been reported in the current year, the most recent occurred June 3. These acts of violence have resulted in joint night patrols with the International Police Task Force (IPTF) and SFOR.
In spite of the violence, returns to Janja remain promising.
A Civil-Military Co-operation house was recently opened in Janja and Bijeljina town to instil a sense of security among the residents.
A total of 247 homes were destroyed in Bijeljina Municipality; 22 have been reconstructed and 95 still need to be rebuilt.
Mostar Central Zone (Santica Street and the Boulevar) – Nearly all residential blocks remain in ruins. Two apartment blocks have been reconstructed on Santica Street; 30 multi-ethnic families immediately returned to their pre-war property. Further reconstruction is planned – two residential blocks on Santica Street and one on Boulevar, as well as 30 private houses.
Efforts have been made since last September to improve conditions at Container Collective Centres, mass accommodations for displaced persons. In the first five months of this year, seven flats were repossessed, 26 are being reconstructed and 31 houses have been recommended for reconstruction.
Donja Crnca, Gornja Crnca and Barimska Street – Before the war, 130 families lived in Donja and Gornja Crnca. All but 10 of those families’ homes were destroyed. On the contrary, only 10 percent of the 300 homes in Barimska Street were destroyed; most of which are occupied by B-Serb displaced persons.
About 50 to 70 Bosniacs returned to Crnca in April and are staying in partly damaged homes. The returnees are described as well organised and share limited resources among themselves and families from other return sites and in Visegrad Municipality.
Halapic Village, Glamoc Municipality – According to a pre-war census taken in 1991, Glamoc’s pre-war population was 79 percent B-Serb, 18 percent Bosniac, 1.5 percent B-Croat and 1.5 percent other. As of this month, there were 1,149 B-Serbs and 808 Bosniacs; other information was not available.
Returns in Glamoc have been slower compared to other northern municipalities in Canton 10. Security for returnees and minority communities is a major issue in Glamoc.
The Property Law Implementation Plan (PLIP) has been and remains very slow here, as well, although it has improved some since a new department head in charge of the returnees took office in September.
Halapic has received great international assistance, which resulted in high returns. No security issues have been reported in this village so far.
Twenty houses have been reconstructed in the last two years.
Radic Village, Bosanska Krupa Municipality – This municipality was one of the most damaged areas in BiH. Families displaced from Bosanska Krupa went to Republika Srpska and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Sporadic returns began in 1998 and continue today.
Radic Village is the largest return area in Bosanska Krupa.

Related links: Humanitarian Aid, SFOR at Work