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Switzerland denounces ethnic cleansing in Kosovo

François Nordmann, Swiss ambassador to the UN, has denounced the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Switzerland has denounced the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. The Swiss government's representative to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said nothing had changed in the Yugoslav province for minorities.

“Persecution and aggression against members of other communities, especially against Serbs, have not diminished,” ambassador François Nordmann said in Geneva on Monday. At a UNHCR meeting, he called on all communities in Kosovo to be tolerant, “an essential condition for a stable situation.”

Nordmann also declared that the humanitarian situation in Yugoslavia was one of Switzerland’s major preoccupations. More than 700,000 people from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo have taken refuge in Serbia and Montenegro.

The UN working group for humanitarian questions in the former Yugoslavia says that, five years after the Dayton peace agreement, the return of minorities to Bosnia and Croatia has gathered pace. However, the situation of minorities in Kosovo remains a major concern.

The High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, called for an end to the climate of revenge in Kosovo. “The first crucial step is to allow the non-Albanian communities still in Kosovo to stay there,” she said.

The High Commissioner also regretted the cycle of violence and intimidation against the non-Albanian community.

swissinfo with agencies

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