World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Kosovo's Ethnic Minorities Need Ongoing Protection

Kosovo's Ethnic Minorities Need Continuing Protection, UN Refugee Agency Warns

Highlighting a surge in the number of murders of Kosovo Serbs over the past year, the United Nations refugee agency has issued three linked reports showing that inter-ethnic relations in the troubled province are so fragile that minority groups continue to need international protection from the threat of violence.

The reports from UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) indicate that Kosovo's minority groups are at risk of attacks ranging from acts of stone-throwing to violent assaults, forcible displacement and even murder.

Briefing reporters today in Geneva, UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said the series of reports show that 12 Serbs were killed between January and November last year, compared to five for all of 2002.

Then, in mid-March this year, Kosovo's ethnic tensions spilled over into several days of public violence and riots. During that period at least 19 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured, while many homes, churches, monasteries and other buildings of significance to minorities were damaged and destroyed.

Mr. Redmond said the events of March led UNHCR to conclude in one of the reports that Kosovo's minorities, especially its Serbs, Roma, Ashkaeli and Egyptians, need further protection from the international community.

Mr. Redmond said some Kosovo Albanians also need protection, including those in ethnically mixed marriages and people considered to have associated with Serbian authorities before 1999.

The reports also argued that it is not reasonable to forcibly return members of Kosovo's minority groups to other regions of Serbia and Montenegro, citing the hardships facing many of the tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) already living there.

There has only been a small amount of voluntary returns within Serbia and Montenegro since 1999. About 1,030 people have returned to their homes so far this year, bringing the total to nearly 11,000.

Kosovo's permanent future status has not yet been determined. Since 1999, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has been helping the people of the province to establish a UN-led interim civilian administration under which they can progressively enjoy substantial autonomy.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news