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FYR of Macedonia: 40,000+ displaced in March

Briefing notes

FYR of Macedonia: 40,000+ displaced in March

29 March 2001

According to the latest local Red Cross figures, 21,830 residents of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have left their homes and gone to other parts of the country, mostly to Skopje. This would bring the total number of people who have left their homes to more than 40,000 since fighting erupted in Macedonia in mid-March. The figure includes 19,000 people who have gone to a number of countries in the region. The most recent push by Macedonian military forces against Albanian gunmen has sent more than 1,000 villagers fleeing to Kosovo over snow-covered mountains since Tuesday. A total of 8,000 people have now been counted by the local authorities in Kosovo. An overwhelming majority of those who have left Macedonia say they left as a precaution, but some of those arriving in Kosovo from areas directly affected by the fighting say they fled artillery attacks close to their home villages.