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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 18

UNCHS (Habitat)(1575 octets)

Thursday,   19 August 1999
Overview
  • The BTF Danube mission is leaving to Budapest and Belgrade on the weekend of 21-22 August.

  • The BTF Habitat experts organised this week a workshop in Pristina to consider the creation of an independent Commission on Housing and Property Rights.

  • The people of Kosovo are facing a new threat in the shape of epidemic diseases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said 18 July. The first cases of epidemic diseases including hepatitis A and polio have been diagnosed in the province and urgent measures must be taken to avoid further infection.

  • A UNHCR team led by Special Envoy Dennis McNamara last week visited areas in Serbia proper hosting some of the 180,000 Serbs and Roma people who have fled from Kosovo into other parts of the FRY.

  • Two to three million of the population in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) are living below the poverty line, the UN World Food Program said in a study published on 17 August. The paper, prepared in July excludes the Serbian province of Kosovo from its analysis.

  • Attacks against non-Albanians in Kosovo, and particularly against elderly Serbs, continue despite the extensive measures taken by the U.N. and KFOR to protect them.

  • Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Kofi Annan said on 12 July that all citizens of Kosovo, whether Serbian or Albanian, must be encouraged to live together and not to seek revenge. He said means for reconciliation between the parties must be found to bring about a multi- ethnic Kosovo.

  • Since returns began on 15 June, more than 761,000 Kosovars have gone back to Kosovo. Some 715,000 Kosovars have returned from the region and another 46,500 from other countries in Europe, North America and Oceania.

  • OSCE Secretary General Jan Kubis will visit Kosovo this week to meet with various officials and tour some of the facilities being established by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, including Radio-TV Pristina and the Kosovo Police School in Vucitrn.

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