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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 8

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Thursday, 9 June 1999
Overview
  • The Minister of Development, Science and Environment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), Mr. Jagos Zelenovic, said on the occasion of World Environment Day (5 June), that "NATO’s bombing of chemical and power industry facilities throughout the country has caused a large number of technological, chemical and industrial accidents containing elements of ecological disasters". Mr. Zelenovic also accused NATO of committing "ecocide" in the FRY.

  • During the 7th meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on 27 May, Mr. Jernej Stritih, Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), said that their Country Offices in Belgrade, Skopje, Tirana and Sofia are collecting information on environmental problems caused by the Balkans crisis, and that REC is developing emergency projects of environmental awareness raising for the refugees.

  • Hungary’s Environment Ministry is monitoring potential pollution from the bombing with mobile monitoring equipment.1

  • The first Swiss member of the Greek-Russian-Swiss "FOCUS Project" assessment/humanitarian team has received a visa for FRY and departed for Belgrade on 9 June.

  • A United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) report on the situation of human rights in Kosovo was published on 31 May. More than 980’000 people have fled Kosovo as of 9 June. The estimated number of refugees and displaced people in the overall region affected is 783’000, including 444’200 in Albania, 247’400 (107‘800 in camps) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), 69’700 in Montenegro and 21’700 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  • A report "The Economic Consequences of the Kosovo Crisis: An Updated Assessment" was prepared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in consultation with the World Bank.

1. Environmental Management and Law Association, 6/7/99.
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