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Kosovo: HC calls for open borders

Briefing notes

Kosovo: HC calls for open borders

25 March 1999

The High Commissioner has called on all countries to keep their borders open to people fleeing the Kosovo conflict. She has expressed her deep preoccupation about the plight of civilians in Kosovo. We are gravely concerned, especially after most aid workers left the province and journalists have been expelled.

There has been a trickle of refugees crossing from Kosovo to the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia but no major exodus. One reason why so few people cross is that they are probably afraid of using the roads in Kosovo which are full of military and police checkpoints.

UNHCR learned that our offices in Pec in Kosovo and in Vojvodina's main town Novi Sad have been ransacked. Two vehicles were stolen from our Novi Sad office.

Our office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, meanwhile, reports a substantial influx over the past two days of Muslim Slavs from the area traditionally called Sandjak, which straddles Serbia and Montenegro.