Fifty-first session
Agenda item 11

Displaced Peoples of Former Yugoslavia

1. International Educational Development/Humanitarian Law Project welcomes the attention given by the Representative of the Secretary-General Mr. Francis M. Deng to the situation of the internally displaced persons in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Since the representative's joint mission in 1992 with the Special Rapporteur he has continued to monitor the situation, as reflected in his latest report to the Commission, E/CN.4/1995/50 at paras. 72 - 79. We would like to provide some additional information covering the period August 1994 to the present.

2. There are now nearly 390,000 thousand war-displaced in Croatia of which about 200,000 have fled Serbian-occupied portions of Croatia and about 180,000 have fled Bosnia-Herzegovina. Displaced people include ethnic Hungarians, Romany people, Bosnian Muslims and Croats.

3. Displacement has escalated in 1994 and in early 1995. On February 24, 1995, Serbian forces in Bosnia-Herzogovina routed and expelled Croatians from their homes in Teslic and Bugojno.

4. As of December 1994, people are still being driven out of the UNPA zones of Croatia, bring the total since 1992 to more than 13,500. UN vehicles drove many of them to safer places.

5. At the present time, only about 22% of displaced persons in Croatia are provided for by the Croatian government, mainly in hotels, vacation houses, military barracks and specially-built centers. Fortunately, most of the remaining displaced are housed with private persons -- in some cases families of the displaced. The financial drain on both the government and on the private persons is overwhelming.

6. The severe problem of providing for displaced persons is compounded by an influx of nearly 900 persons

a month from Bosnia-Herzogovina, especially of late from Banja Luka, Prijedor, Sanski Most, and Bosanska Gradiska.

7. Besides housing and subsistence needs, the majority of displaced persons in Bosnia-Herzogovena and Croatia are in need of post-traumatic stress treatment and other psychological care. Orphaned children and the elderly are now especially vulnerable.

8. While some Serbian people have been resettled in their homes, practically no non-Serbians have been resettled. Furthermore, there is no current plan for their resettlement. IED/HLP urges the United Nations bodies and specialized agencies to work with the Representative of the Secretary-General to develop a coordinated plan for resettlement so that as soon as conditions allow, displaced persons may be returned to their homes with a minimum of delay and confusion.

9. IED/HLP recognizes the efforts of a number of governments and international humanitarian organizations that have provided material aid for the displaced in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. However, the need is still far greater that the aid, and we make an appeal to these and others to increase aid.