Kosovo: Roma return to new homes in Mitrovica with help from UN and partners

7 March 2007
Roma at new house

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) today announced that after nearly eight years in makeshift camps, a number of Roma families have begun to return to south Mitrovica thanks to a combined UN and non-governmental organization (NGO) project that is also placing them in new homes.

The Roma, who were living in South Mitrovica, some 35 kilometres north of Pristina, fled to the northern, Serbian-speaking area of Mitrovica at the outbreak of hostilities in 1999 and have been in internally displaced persons camps since then.

Some 16 persons in three families arrived Wednesday in trucks supplied by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They were given titles to their new homes in the form of 99-year leases.

Wednesday’s arrivals were part of a programme which will resettle some one hundred families or a total of more than 500 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian people in the new homes by the end of summer. Twenty-four flats and 57 houses have been completed and another 24 flats are under construction.

The project is a combined effort of the provisional government of Kosovo, the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) in Europe, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UNMIK, the Norwegian government, the Irish government, Norwegian Church Aid and the Danish Refugee Council.


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