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Crisis 1999
News Archive 1999

Refugees returning from the "third countries"

Anne-Willem Bijleveld, UNHCR's head for Europe, said the returnees from up to 30 points of departure in Europe and other countries would be flown to Macedonia's capital Skopje under the campaign starting on July 15. The voluntary return program, agreed at talks yesterday in Geneva hosted by UNHCR, is aimed at organizing the voluntary return to Kosovo of more than 91,000 people evacuated by air from Macedonia to 29 countries. Bijleveld said UNHCR expected Germany to have the biggest numbers of returnees under the program. Representatives from 29 host states took part in the talks held jointly with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Macedonian authorities. IOM said it had already helped to fly home about 600 evacuees from Canada, Germany, Australia and Austria. The 29 countries agreed to coordinate the return of those who want to go back, with aid agencies confident they can be home before winter.

Source: Free Serbia

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