Warning of new refugee wave (translation)

14 December 2007 – In the context with the expected declaration of independence of Kosovo, the OSCE Commissioner for Minorities, Knut Vollebaek, warned about the possibility of a new exodus of Roma from the South-Serbian province.

His concern is that many of the remaining members of the Roma minority could flee to neighbouring Macedonia or Montenegro, unless their security, in particular in the Southern parts, is guaranteed, he said in Helsinki.

Vollebaek: Roma have been forgotten

The OSCE Commissioner for Minorities, who has been in office since six months, said that he met with representatives of all the communities during his visit to Kosovo in September.

In his concluding report, he called on Pristina as well as on Belgrade, not to forget the integration “of the probably most vulnerable minority” against the background of the Serbian-Albanian conflict.

“The Roma live in very small communities. They have been completely forgotten: They did not participate in the negotiations. It looks like they do not exist.”

Source: http://volksgruppen.orf.at/hrvati/visti/stories/77376/