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Assistant High Commissioner in Balkans

Briefing notes

Assistant High Commissioner in Balkans

16 March 2004

Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees Kamel Morjane today is scheduled to visit the town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia - the scene of the worst massacre of the 1992-95 Bosnia war. Morjane is expected to lay a wreath at the Potocari Memorial outside Srebrenica, erected in memory of thousands of Srebrenica men and boys presumably murdered by the Bosnian Serb army after it overran Srebrenica in July of 1995. Morjane is urging the authorities at all levels to redouble their efforts to bring to justice indicted war criminals to end the cycle of impunity that had marred the post-conflict situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During meetings with Bosnian officials in Sarajevo on Monday, the Assistant High Commissioner hailed the significant achievements and progress made in the return process in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in December 1995, with nearly one million returnees recorded to date. However, he noted that some 100,000 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina remained displaced in the region. Bosnia and Herzegovina is still hosting more than 25,000 refugees from Croatia and Kosovo, while some 325,000 internally displaced persons still require a durable solution to their plight.

Before visiting Bosnia, the Assistant High Commissioner travelled to Croatia's capital, Zagreb, where he met with senior officials. Later this week, Morjane is scheduled to visit Serbia and Montenegro, including Kosovo.