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


Kosovo: Roma to leave lead-tainted camps

Displaced Roma in Kosovo to leave lead-tainted camps, UN says

A newly-refurbished camp will open on Monday for internally displaced Roma populations in Kosovo that are enduring unhealthy lead levels in their present dwellings, the United Nations Mission in that province (UNMIK) announced today.

The displaced Roma will be temporarily housed in Camp Osterode, recently vacated by French forces, until the ongoing reconstruction of their permanent homes in northern Kosovo is completed.

UNMIK said that the new camp will closely follow recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), to protect children and pregnant women from lead poisoning. The mission has offered to help the Roma relocate.

This past June, Dr. Walter Kalin, a UN expert on the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) appealed to the international community to provide resources to evacuate the Roma population affected by lead poisoning in camps in Northern Mitrovica.

`Camp Osterode, which had housed a French unit of the international Kosovo Force (KFOR), was refurbished with contributions from international donors. According to UNMIK, the Camp offers access to health and hygiene infrastructure, social supports, children's programmes as well as employment and training opportunities for residents.

In a meeting in Camp Osterode today, representatives of UNMIK, WHO, and other agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the camps called on Roma leaders to support an immediate relocation to the new camp following its opening on 9 January.

Most of the displaced came from the major Roma neighbourhood, known as the Roma Mahala, which was destroyed during the conflict between majority Albanians, Serbs, and Yugoslav forces in 1999. The UN has administered Kosovo since NATO forces drove out the Yugoslav troops that year.

Reconstruction of the Roma Mahala has started, with the first phase of rubble clearing completed and work on the first two buildings planned.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More

Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>