None of international community models for return of displaced persons has made significant success
Kosovo Online, 14 May 2021
Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Petar Petković spoke today with the UNHCR Head in Serbia Francesca Bonelli and informed her about the efforts Serbian Government makes to help displaced persons return to Kosovo, Kosovo-online portal reports.
As the Office for KiM said in a statement Petković pointed out problems relating to ensuring the right to return, finding an efficient mechanism for property restitution as well as advancing the quality of their everyday lives and socio-economic status.
“Since 1999 up to date 220.000 persons from Kosovo and Metohija were registered as displaced persons (most of them Serbs). Out of this number only two percent have so far returned to their places of origin or other Serb settlements in Kosovo and Metohija, and this is the smallest percent of the return in the post-conflict areas in the world”, Petkovic stressed.
He also drew attention to the incidents targeting returnees, including the latest, the fifth attack in a row, targeting returnee families in the village of Dubrava in Istok municipality.
Petković also underlined this was not about isolated incidents, but rather, as he said, about “deliberate and systematic intimidation and planning of new expulsion of returnees from their places of origin”.
He also presented the “Sunny Valley” project in northern Kosovo as a first model of sustainable return, adding that none of the models of the international community to return displaced persons made significant results.