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Kosovo: hope, fear, anxiety, suspense

Briefing notes

Kosovo: hope, fear, anxiety, suspense

16 February 1999

As the Rambouillet talks continue, in Kosovo the general atmosphere on the ground is marked by a mixture of hope, fear, anxiety and suspense. In some areas, displaced people continue timidly to trickle back to their villages. Many return during the day to look after their property but they are too fearful to spend the night at home.

No major returns have been reported to the 18 villages in the Podujevo area which saw a government offensive last month.

At the village of Nevoljane in Vucitrn, north of Pristina, an army military excercise yesterday (Monday) caused panic among women and children most of whom fled the village. Only eight children showed up at the village school which normally has 300 pupils.