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FYR of Macedonia: UNHCR urges all sides on peace agreement

Briefing notes

FYR of Macedonia: UNHCR urges all sides on peace agreement

14 August 2001

UNHCR welcomes the Peace Agreement for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) which was signed in Skopje yesterday by the leaders of the four main political parties. We hope that the peace agreement will eventually pave the way for the return of more than 125,000 people displaced since the conflict started in February this year. We urge all sides to abide by the agreement. The only alternative is more bloodshed, more uprooted people and more suffering.

Prior to the signing ceremony, people continued to flee the area in and around Tetovo and villages close to Radusa where heavy fighting continued throughout the weekend. UNHCR is concerned about the situation of hundreds of persons from the village of Ljuboten near Skopje which had been the scene of severe fighting during the weekend.

More than 2,000 persons crossed into Kosovo from Friday until Sunday evening, but the number of arrivals dropped sharply yesterday as people were awaiting the signing of the peace agreement in Skopje.

Some 5,000 persons displaced as a result of the fighting during last week have been registered by the [former Yugoslav Republic of] Macedonian Red Cross, making the total number of displaced persons within the country 53,000.