Friday, April 29, 2005

Office for returns asks for an end to battle with numbers of IDPs and returnees (Koha)

UNMIK Office for Returns has still no precise information on the numbers of displaced persons after the war in Kosovo, said UNMIK official Kilian Kleinschmidt in a press conference.

‘I cannot give exact numbers because the data have so much been influenced by various propaganda and parties that I don’t know what to believe, but the truth may rest somewhere in between’, said Kleinschmidt and urged all parties to end the game with numbers.

The best way to shed light to the actual number of IDPs is through the population census expected to start next year, added UNMIK official for returns and communities.

Kleinschmidt also spoke about the upcoming meeting between Kosovo and Serbian officials on the issue of returns and said that this will be a ‘complicated’ process.

He said that everybody should understand that the return process should not be time-restricted. ‘Return should be free so that people can return to their property whenever they want. If displaced people want to return in 10 years, that is their right’, stressed Kleinschmidt.

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