12 February 2008 – According to newspaper reports, Montenegro expects a new wave of refugees in case of Kosovo declaring independence. Quoting the Montenegrin Commissioner for Refugees, Zeljko Sofranac, newspapers say that Montenegro would, in this situation, react like a modern state applying international treaties and conventions.

Referring to the situation in 1999, when Montenegro accepted to host large numbers of refugees as part of an international plan for the regional containment of the refugee crisis, the Commissioner said that his country would not be ready to accept over a longer period of time refugees transiting to other countries.

Eight years after the end of the war, Montenegro still counts some 16,000 displaced from Kosovo, many of them Roma. Becoming refugees after Montenegro’s indendence from Serbia, they face manifold discrimination and have to accept appalling living conditions in refugee camps or private shelter.

Romano Them