Dailies report that the Kosovo Government and UNMIK do not have sufficient funds for the successful return of internally-displaced people.
The papers quote Killian Kleinschmidt, the head of the Office for Returns and Communities, as saying that €22 million are needed to implement current projects for IDP returns. Kleinschmidt called on donors to support UNMIK and the Kosovo Government in acquiring the necessary resources.
In spite of the delays, Kleinschmidt said the process of IDP returns was going well. ‘If you visit various parts of Kosovo, you will find families who have returned to their reconstructed homes,’ he said, adding that a better internal climate and related negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade would help in the process of returns.
Fatmir Sheholli, spokesman for the Ministry of Returns, told journalists that Belgrade was impeding the return of Serbs. He added that Serbian propaganda about the situation in Kosovo was preventing IDPs from returning to their homes.
Koha Ditore quotes Sheholli as saying, ‘We have about 70, 000 applications, 70% coming from the Serb community and the rest from other ethnic groups, which represent the will of a large number of people who want to return to Kosovo.’
Lajm quotes officials of the Ministry for Returns as confirming that they are preparing a draft law for IDP returns.
The press says that based on the information of the Ministry for Returns and Communities, 11,000 people have returned to Kosovo so far. On 19 July UNMIK and the Kosovo Government launched the strategic framework for IDPs which envisages a greater flux of returns this year and next year.