FM Alert, Vol II, No. 39

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Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 10:43:44 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: FM Alert, Vol II, No. 39

From: MINELRES moderator <>

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FM Alert, Vol II, No. 39

FM Alert, Vol II, No. 39
October 2, 1998
United Nations relief agencies are seeking to expand protection and
monitoring capabilities to assist  internally displaced persons in
war-ravaged Kosovo.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) is implementing a decision to expand its international staff
in Kosovo from 8 to 15 persons, and to open new offices in Pec and
Mitrovica, in addition to the already operating office in Pristina. 
UNHCR will focus its protection efforts on monitoring and reporting on
human rights-related issues. UNHCR does not plan to undertake the
registration of internally displaced persons in Kosovo due to ongoing
population movements.  It plans to coordinate activities with the
International Committee for the Red Cross and the Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Meanwhile, OCHA plans to
have a reporting officer visit Kosovo periodically, reporting on
humanitarian developments and facilitating the flow of information
within the United Nations system. In addition, the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) plans to expand the number of its
international staff in Kosovo from one to six. HCHR is seeking $1.1
million from the donor community to realize this expansion plan. 
(For additional information see FM Alerts of September 18 and August
The Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina
announced on September 15 a decision to extend the deadline for filing
property claims for socially owned apartments  in the Bosniak-Croat
Federation. Under property legislation adopted by the Federation
Parliament in April of this year, October 4 had been the deadline for
refugees and displaced persons to file claims their pre-war socially
owned apartments. High Representative Carlos Westendorp, asserting the
authority granted to him at the Bonn  Peace Implementation Council in
December 1997 to "use his final order to facilitate the
resolution of difficulties by making binding decisions, as he judges
necessary...," extended the deadline for another six months to April
4, 1999.  International organizations monitoring implementation of the
law have reported illegal and unfair practices in many municipalities;
including charging applicants inappropriate fees,  subjecting
applicants to intimidating interviews and refusing to accept claims
sent through the mail or delivered by personal representatives. 
International officials also reported that a poorly organized
information campaign, the lack of property law reform in the Republika
Srpska and ongoing concern over nationalistic education policies has
discouraged displaced persons from filing claims. 
(For additional information see FM Alerts of  September 4 and August
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has received some
$6.34 million in pledges towards its 1998 appeal for programs in CIS
countries. The total represents just over half of the $12.5 million in
funding that IOM sought in its appeal. The United States is the
leading donor so far in 1998, giving $4.5 million for a variety of
programs in CIS states. Belgium, Finland, Japan, Sweden and
Switzerland have also made contributions, ranging from $80,000 to
$645,000. The IOM has programs in every CIS country, except Moldova
and Uzbekistan. The money already donated and pledged has been
earmarked for specific countries. Almost $1.4 million in funding will
be devoted to programs in Russia, and $1.1 million will go to Ukraine.
The IOM appeal has three program directions; technical cooperation
with CIS governments and nongovernmental organizations; humanitarian
assistance that is designed to promote the integration of displaced
persons, or the return of those desiring to go back to their homeland;
and research that allows policy makers to make better-informed
decisions. In 1997, UNHCR and IOM jointly sought $88 million, but
ultimately received only about $17 million. 
(For background information see FM Alerts of January 8 and November
20, 1997).
For more information contact:
The Forced Migration Projects
400 West 59th Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10019
tel: (212)548-0655
fax: (212) 548-4676

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