News 03 Jul 12

Serbia: Refugees Demand Their Rights

The Serbian Association of Refugees urged the new Serbian authorities to resolve still remaining issues regarding property claims within the former Yugoslav countries.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade

The Association of Refugees, a coalition of 65 refugee organisations, sent an open letter with their demands to the newly elected President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, President of the Parliament, the Heads of the Parliamentary groups and to the future Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic.

With their letter the Association enclosed a petition signed by 80,000 people, in which signatories asked the authorities to deal with three crucial problems of the refugees - property rights, equal standards in the war crime prosecution in the whole region and the question of missing persons.

The coalition members reminded the authorities that there are still almost 500,000 people living in Serbia who still have not resolved the issues of their assets with the authorities in Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia.

They asked the new Parliament to adopt the resolution on respect of rights of refugees, displaced persons and other victims from the former Yugoslav countries.

The proposed resolution envisages the intergovernmental dialogue between Serbia, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the governments of Croatia and Slovenia in order to solve these urgent issues on the basis of Vienna Agreement on Succession.

The Vienna Agreement foresees that all the rights and assets are to be returned to all those who lost them as it was on December 31, 1990, a few months before the start of the wars of Yugoslav dissolution.

The association also demands proper integration of the refugees, including permanent housing for those who are living in refugee camps and monthly allowance to those who are in hard living conditions.

They also called on the state to form a joint fund that will help all the refugees and internally displaced people currently living in Serbia.

Official data of the Serbian Commissioner’s Office for Refugees says there are 66,400 refugees from Bosnia and Croatia and 210,000 internally displaced people from Kosovo in Serbia. 

 

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