news 18 Jan 13

Croatian President Urges Bosnian Refugees’ Return

Croatia's leader Ivo Josipovic and Bosnia’s refugees minister Damir Ljubic both called for displaced Bosnians to go back to their pre-war homes.

Boris Pavelic

"I want everybody to go back to his home and integrate again into the society in which he lived before the war," Josipovic said after meeting Ljubic in Zagreb on Thursday.

The Croatian president said that the successful return of wartime refugees was an indicator of the level of human rights in each country in the region.

Ljubic echoed his call and thanked Croatia for being "the biggest individual donor in solving refugee problems" in Bosnia.

"We hope we will start to end this problem in three or four years," Ljubic said.

He came to Zagreb after the Bosnian authorities appealed to refugees to return at the beginning of January, following an international donors’ conference in Sarajevo last April which amassed more than 260 million euros to help those displaced to go home.

Some 200,000 refugees left Bosnia for Croatia during the war in the 1990s, mostly ethnic Croats from the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska.

Only around five per cent of them have returned so far.

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