Friday, September 4, 2009

1,212 displaced families apply for return to Kosovo

1,212 displaced families apply for return to Kosovo

Source: Government of Serbia
Date: 04 Sep 2009

Belgrade, Sept 4, 2009 – Serbian Assistant Minister for Kosovo-Metohija Bojan Andjelkovic said today that 1,212 families or 3,200 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have applied to return to Kosovo.

Speaking at a press conference about the completion of the return application registration and the problems of IDPs in Djakovica, Anjelkovic said that the registration process was completed between March and the middle of August and was limited to IDPs in 55 refugee centers and those who expressed a wish to return to Kosovo.

He said that the registration did not include IDPs who have private accommodation or those Serbs and non-Albanians who were driven out of their homes but remained in the province.

He said that of the total of the IDPs registered, nearly 10% or more, more than 400 individuals, belong to ethnic minorities, Roma, Muslim, etc.

Andjelkovic said that 848 housing units need to be reconstructed or rebuilt for the return of those registered this year, noting that 340 houses were completely destroyed while others can be reconstructed.

According to Andjelkovic, 240 apartments owned by Serbs and now illegally occupied by Albanians need there present occupiers evicting.

Most of these apartments are in Djakovica, he said noting, that 228 families from Djakovica have applied to return.

Another 100 apartments should be built to house the displaced there, Andjelkovic said.

Andjelkovic announced a plan for renovating neglected or devastated Orthodox cemeteries in Kosovo, noting that 437 such cemeteries exist in the province.

There are also some cemeteries that have not been registered, including the Jewish cemetery in Pristina, he said.

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