22 April 2010 – In his recent report to the Security Council, the UN Secretary General has warned the host countries that forced returns of refugees may undermine stability in Kosovo: “Continuing forced returns from host countries may negatively impact the ability of Kosovo authorities to support sustainable returns and may exacerbate existing tensions,” Ban Ki-moon says in his report.
The report points out to the fact that only 19 out of thirty municipalities have adopted return strategies in 2009. These strategies are still waiting for their implementation. Referring to an OSCE assessment, the report quotes lack of funding and political will as major problems. It also refers to concerns regarding the viability of conditions for returns, including security, access to public services, housing and property rights and socio-economic opportunities.
According to the report, 224 persons have been forcibly repatriated to Kosovo during the first months of 2010. In 2009, 2,962 individuals were deported. During the same period, the UNHCR registered some 1412 so-called minority returns.
Just one week ago, Germany signed a bilateral readmission agreement with Kosovo, which was finalised last year. On this occasion, the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights reiterated his warning to European states not to deport refugees to Kosovo as long as the Kosovo authorities are unable to reintegrate the refugees.