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Serbia/Kosovo: UNHCR convoy heads for Bujanovac

Briefing notes

Serbia/Kosovo: UNHCR convoy heads for Bujanovac

28 November 2000

A UNHCR convoy carrying beds, mattresses and stoves left this morning for the western Serbian town of Bujanovac, where 200 to 250 people - both Serbs and ethnic Albanians - congregated over the weekend after fleeing the surrounding villages at the prospect of a possible military crackdown.

UNHCR has also received reports that 200 vehicles ferrying ethnic Albanians went into Kosovo Monday from the villages of Letovica and Nesalce following tensions over the weekend, bringing up to 3,000 the number of people from the Bujanovac-Presevo area who have gone into Kosovo since last Friday. Albanian leaders, reportedly upon advice from Serb authorities, had urged the people to leave ahead of a possible offensive by Serbian forces. Those fleeing have reported a heavy military build-up in the area but no military activity or fighting. The displaced have found shelter with friends and extended families in Kosovo's Gnjilane area south-east of Pristina. Most left before the Yugoslav authorities announced an extension of a deadline for Kosovo Albanian rebels to clear out of the Kosovo area or face attack.