UN Inter-Agency Update on Kosovo Situation Report 62

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 11 Sep 1998
This report has been compiled by UNHCR with support from OCHA and with inputs from UN Agencies and other humanitarian organizations in FRY, FYROM and Albania
1. KOSOVO

1.1 Heavy shelling. On 9 September KDOM reported that VJ had been shelling the area east of Glodjane (southeast of Pec) since early morning the previous day. The most affected villages were Nepolje, Jablanica, Kraljane and Lugaci. The team estimated that some 20,000 IDPs may have been on the move. Burning houses could be observed. The team also visited the villages of Ratkovac and Danjane, 8 km east of Djakovica and found them heavily destroyed in the recent fighting. Most of the population who fled on 8 September were seen returning.

On 9 September UNHCR team saw tens of thousands of people, mostly women and children on a 12 km stretch of the road south of Pec. An estimated 25,000 IDPs fled the villages of Istinic, Krusevac, Rasic, Barani, Celopek and Kosuric. On the way back to Pec the team saw some 200 people who had tried to go to Pec but turned back on seeing the troops.

On Friday a UNHCR team went to the area and found the village of Barane abandoned. The villages of Celopek and Kostradic are empty and destroyed to a large extent. Glodjane to the east, appeared intact. The team then proceeded to Krusevac, 27 km south of Pec, and found heavy police presence in town. The town of Istinic ( original population of 6000) hosts some 15,000 IDPs, some of whom in the open. The humanitarian centre opened there distributed bread. However, nobody approached for fear they might be shot at and the bread was taken to the Mother Theresa warehose where it was distributed to some 1000 women, children and the elderly. UNHCR delivered 40 packages of HDRs . The local aid worker appealed for baby food. Heavy police presence was noted.

KDOM visited the village of Janina Voda, 12 km west of Pristina and found it almost abandoned although only a few houses appear to be heavily damaged. Some 600 inhabitants of Janina Voda are living in Sibovac, 14 km west of Pristina.

1.2 Convoys. Three multi-agency convoys left Pristina on Thursday.

The first, UNHCR led six-truck convoy went to Sedlare to take relief to an estimated 15,000 beneficiaries. The cargo consisted of : 3780 kg of food, 1000 family food parcels, 48 tons of wheat flour, 216 kg of high protein biscuits, 100 boxes of baby food 25 boxes of boxes of hygienic napkins, 840 hygienic kits, 210 mattrasses, 300 rubber boots, 30 rolls of plastic sheeting, 70 tee shirts, 120 shorts, 10 pairs of socks, 40 shirts for babies, 30 boxes of lice powder and 50 boxes scabby powder. The participating agencies were: Children Aid Direct, Catholic Relief Service, Doctors of the World, Mercy Corps International, Center for Protection of Women and Children.

The second, UNHCR led, five-truck convoy went to Golubovac carrying 500 family food parcels, 360 kg of biscuits, 5400 kg of mixed food, 100 baby parcels, 10 tons of wheat flour, 280 hygienic kits, 10 boxes of sanitary napkins, 60 mattrasses, 100 stoves, 180 pairs of rubber boots, 10 rolls of plastic sheeting and 40 boxes of second hand clothing to an estimated 2000 beneficiaries. The agencies that took part were Chidren Aid Direct, Doctors of the World, Catholic Relief Service, Mercy Corps International.

The third, WFP led, six-truck convoy went to Ponorce carrying relief to an estimated 10,000 beneficiaries. The cargo consisted of : 5.4 tons of food, 360 boxes of HDRs, 1000 family food parcels, 48 tons of wheat flour, 100 boxes of baby parcels, 1260 boxes of hygienic kits, 10 boxes of sanitary napkins, 220 mattrasses, 30 pairs of rubber boots, 30 rolls of plastic sheeting, 70 stoves, 100 boxes of second hand clothing and materials for the handicapped.

Today, two convoys left Pristina.

The UNHCR led, five-truck convoy will be delivering 92 tons of wheat flour and 75 family food parcels supplied by Mercy Corps International and Doctors of the World to the beneficiaries in Pec.

The WFP led, two-truck convoy headed for Drelaj and Dacaj (west of Pec) carrying 600 boxes of family food parcels, 2 tons of human daily rations, 2 tons of hygienic materials and 10 rolls of plastic sheeting. The participating agencies are Catholic Relief Service, Mercy Corps International and UNHCR.

The estimated number of beneficiaries of the two convoys to the Pec area is 4000.

In the course of the week 7 - 11 August 8 convoys were organised.

1.3 Distribution centres. The Serbian Coordinator for Kosovo, Andreja Milosavljevic accompanied by Eduardo Arboleda of UNHCR, Richard Wagner of USAID and Saverio Bertolini of the Italian embassy visited on Wednesday and Thursday nine of the eleven humanitarian distribution centres set up by the Serbian Government late last month in an effort to support the returns of IDPs. The centres visited were: Malisevo, Orahovac Djakovica, Junik, Glogovac, Kijevo, Klina, Decani and Srbica.

The village of Malisevo appears almost empty. The warehouse still has a certain amount of supplies.

The majority of the original population (some 80%) of Orahovac has returned. The shops are re-opening, the market is functioning. Electrical and telephone services have been restored. The warehouse, run by the Yugoslav Red Cross, is relatively well supplied.

The warehouse in Djakovica is well stocked. UNHCR was told that the authorities had signed contracts with a number of villages where the people surrendered arms and the distribution of assistance was underway.

65 families (mostly women, children and old men) returned to Junik. There is a heavy police presence in the village. A bus line Decani-Djakovica-Junik was established. The government said return of 4000 people was expected.

Little destruction was noted in Glogovac. Assistance is available. The village appeared empty, although the team was told that 40% of the original population had returned.

Kijevo is a tiny village with mixed population. At the time of the visit it seemed fully populated.

The humanitarian centre in Klina has been open for 20 days. A lot of people were seen at it. Some 50% of the population has returned and normal life seems to have been resumed.

The small humanitarian centre in Decani is fully stocked. 200 persons out of the original 10,000 have returned thus far. Extensive police presence was noted.

In Srbica life seems to be completely back to normal. The schools, both Serbian and Albanian are working. The humanitarian centre is open and the people were seen queueing at it. In one collective centre 20 refugees who remained were seen. However, the villages around Srbica seem empty.

The majority of the humanitarian centres is run by the Yugoslav Red Cross and the general impression of what the team saw is positive.

Also on Thursday, Mr Odalovic, the Kosovo Prefect, informed the diplomatic monitors and representatives of ICRC and UNHCR that the 12th humanitarian centre in the province had been opened in Istinic. He said he expected 10,000 people to return to their homes as all the conditions have been put in place.

1.4 Returns. UNHCR is seeking to arrange a meeting between representatives of Grabovac, north of Pec and police authorities to discuss the possibility of some 1200 people returning to their village. 120 houses abandoned in July remain largely intact despite looting. An estimated 1300-1500 inhabitants of Leskovcic, municipality of Obilic, also expressed a wish to return to their homes and asked UNHCR assistance in the process. Some 700 of the 2000 people who left the village of Ade, municipality of Obilic two months ago, have returned. However, they are still afraid of the police in the area.

1.5 USD 20 million is a sum earmarked by the United States to help the affected population in Kosovo. In addition to the USD 11 million already provided, the White House stated Wednesday that part of this sum will be given in response to a 54,332,900 USD UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Kosovo.

1.6 Government authorities reported that up to Friday, bodies of 24 persons, apparently executed by armed separatists, had been unearthed at the mass grave 1 km from Glodjane.

1.7 UNHCR in Sarajevo reports an increasing number of asylum seekers from Kosovo. Those accommodated privately will continue to get some support, while the new arrivals will be expected to meet certain criteria.

Estimated Displacement Figures: (as at 11 September 1998)

Displacement within Kosovo1
200,000
Displacement into Montenegro2
40,596
Displacement into other parts of Serbia
20,000
Refugees in Bosnia Herzegovina3
5700
Refugees into Albania4
14,000
Refugees into Turkey5
2,000
Visitors into FYROM
1,000
TOTAL
283,296

1 Estimated figure based on information from various organisations in Kosovo.
2 An average figure based on figures provided by the Montenegrin Ministry of Interior and the Montenegrin Red Cross, as shown in the next page.
3 Includes 2622 registered asylum seekers
4 Includes 7,000 registered in Tropoje District and an estimated 7,000 who have left for other areas.
5 Figure announced by the Regional Bureau of Europe
6 Figure provided by a local NGO, El Hilal.

1.8 UNICEF continues to provide support to MTA mobile medical team which visited the area of Drenica this week. Medical education regularly continues in Sipolje, municipality of Mitrovica and Vranjevac, Pristina.

According to the local NGO from Pristina (Centre for Human - Women's Rights, the economic, social and medical status of Kosovo IDPs in Ulcinj is alarming. In the course of a three-day survey their team interviewed 434 persons (62 families) 272 of whom were children. The team was told that the aid received does not, even remotely, cover the needs. Many children, suffer from stress and trauma in addition to various infections, malnutrition and influenza. Consequently, the NGO sent an appeal to local and international humanitarian organisations to facilitate opening of collective centres as well as the establishment of health points to provide medical assistance to these people.

2. MONTENEGRO

Statistics (as at 11 September 1998)

Ministry of Interior Count of New Arrivals: 37,180

Montenegrin Red Cross Registered Caseload:

Ulcinj
17,349
Rozaje
8,646
Podgorica
5,127
Plav
8,246
Berane
1,231
Bjelo Polje
1,008
Others
2,405
Total
44,012

Average of the two figures is shown on the first page. The discrepancy may be due to the fact that the Ministry of Interior is not keeping track of IDPs traveling through mountain paths. The registration in each municipality conducted by the Commissioner for Displaced Persons' Office is proceeding slowly, with only 9,000 IDPs recorded to date.

3. ALBANIA

No updated reports received.

4. FYR of MACEDONIA

No updated reports received.

For information, please contact:
Fernando del Mundo, UNHCR Pristina
Tel: 381-38-321-09