Serbs May Not Return Right Away
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Mon Nov 6 09:37:44 MST 2000
Short piece so I am posting the whole article--Xxxx
***Serbs May Not Return Right Away
Monday November 6, 2000 2:40 pm
The Guardian, 06.11. 00
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) - Few of the Serbs who have left Kosovo fearing
reprisals by its ethnic Albanian majority are likely to return before
spring, the commander of the NATO peacekeeping force in the province
Lt. Gen. Carlo Cabigiosu said the 37,000-strong force would actively
support the return of ethnic Serbs to Kosovo, but he did not offer a
timetable for an organized international effort to bring Serbs back or
say how many might return.
``We are getting prepared,'' Cabigiosu said. ``During the spring
probably we will have a number of returns.''
More than half of Kosovo's 200,000 Serbs have left the Serbian province
since the outbreak of hostilities with ethnic Albanians in 1998.
The exodus was prompted by attacks by ethnic Albanians seeking to get
even for the 18-month crackdown by forces loyal to Milosevic. About
10,000 ethnic Albanians died in the crackdown, which
ended when Milosevic's troops withdrew from Kosovo in June 1999 under a
peace deal to end NATO's 78-day bombing campaign.
Kosovo's top U.N. and NATO officials joined moderate Serbs this past
spring on a committee meant to regulate the return of Serbs to the
province, which is now run by the two international organizations.
Like Milosevic, new Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has pushed for
an early start of organized returns of Serbs to Kosovo, in part to
underline the official status of Kosovo as a part of Serbia.
Cabigiosu urged Kosovo Albanians to be tolerant of Serbs and start to do
business with them.
``They are part and will be part of this society in the future,'' he
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Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222
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