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Mrs. Ogata's visit to Kosovo

Briefing notes

Mrs. Ogata's visit to Kosovo

6 July 1999

The High Commissioner will wrap up her 2-day visit to Kosovo later today. Yesterday she accompanied a convoy of returnees from the FYR of Macedonia to Pristina and visited the towns of Prizren and Pec. In Prizren she met with the commander of the German KFOR troops in the region , who spoke of the real need for an early return of teachers, doctors and other professionals to the area - and of the need for a police force.

She then went to the Orthodox seminary where 119 Serbs, 22 Albanians and 3 Roma have found protection. Most of the people are elderly and all said they were too frightened of reprisal actions to leave the seminary at the present time. The High Commissioner spoke to one younger woman, a mother, who said her husband, a policeman, had been killed in front of her eyes.

Mrs. Ogata then travelled to Pec, where she met with the Italian KFOR commander and a Spanish senior KFOR officer, and made a lengthy tour of the city, where she termed the level of destruction as "shocking".

At the UNHCR Pec office, she saw several destroyed homes adjacent to the office, where people were staying in UNHCR-donated tents.