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World - Europe

Aid efforts for Kosovo refugees intensified

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InteractiveIMAGE GALLERY:
Kosovo Refugees

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The Serbs and Kosovo
 ALSO:
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 MESSAGE BOARD
Crisis in Kosovo
 MAPS
NATO officials describe attacks from day one through day eleven
 

More tents go up; aircraft fly in supplies

April 5, 1999
Web posted at: 8:24 a.m. EST (1324 GMT)

SKOPJIE, Macedonia (CNN) -- NATO troops and international aid agencies stepped up emergency aid efforts Monday for tens of thousands of hungry and exhausted Kosovo Albanian refugees, erecting tent cities and flying in humanitarian supplies.

The U.N. refugee agency said Monday that at least 360,000 ethnic Albanians have fled the Serb-led crackdown in Kosovo in the past several days.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said about 204,000 people had sought refuge in Albania, 115,000 in Macedonia and 33,000 in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro.

NATO troops were setting up a camp beside Tirana airport to handle relief operations. Two U.S. military transport planes brought in supplies and equipment, including machinery for the quick unloading of aircraft. More planes were expected during the day.

French military helicopters were flying shuttle missions to and from the northern border town of Kukes, the main collecting point for refugees who were to be transported further south in Albania.

Medical officials in Kukes told CNN that many of the refugees showed signs of beating by Serb forces and wounds caused by what the refugees said was shelling of their homes by Yugoslav army and police forces.

Tens of thousands of people remained stranded in no-man's land between Yugoslavia and Macedonia on Monday, waiting for a promised airlift to take them from Skopje.

"We have food coming in (but) we still need more ready-to-eat food," Red Cross delegate Ellem Berg Svennes told CNN.

The United States has announced it will take in about 20,000 refugees, and other NATO members said they would put up 100,000 others.

Germany, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, said Monday that the EU's main priority was to look after Kosovo refugees on the ground in camps.

In Macedonia, NATO troops from Britain, France and Italy were setting up about 400 tents to house some of the refugees. The tent city is to serve as one of two holding centers before the refugees were to be ferried to airports to be flown to other countries.

A British government official said Monday that the aid effort must be speeded up.

"There's not enough movement. We've got a system that is completely stuck," said International Development Secretary Clare Short, echoing similar statements by the governments of Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro.

"There are thousands and thousands of people on the other side of the border, not being fed, babies are being born, people are becoming sick," Short told British radio.

tents
The Italian army has set up the first tent city near the border  

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told a news conference in London that NATO troops were stepping up coordinated aid efforts with the UNHCR but were also maintaining the NATO bombing campaign against Serb military targets in Yugoslavia.

Cook bluntly warned Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic there would be no peace unless he agreed to reverse the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo.

"Don't bother offering peace unless you are prepared to reverse the ethnic cleansing of the war," Cook said.

"Peace in Kosovo without the population of Kosovo would be a hollow mockery. NATO's campaign will continue until the refugees can return to their homes under international protection," he said.


RELATED STORIES:
Aid efforts for Kosovo refugees intensified
April 5, 1999
Pentagon: Apache helicopters, more troops headed to Balkans
April 4, 1999
Russian anger at NATO attacks goes deeper than 'Slavic brotherhood'
April 4, 1999
Yugoslav official: Captured U.S. soldiers won't face trial
April 4, 1999
More blasts rock Belgrade
April 3, 1999
Kosovar says he survived burning of bodies
April 3, 1999
Montenegrin political parties agree to resist military takeover
April 3, 1999
Pentagon not reassured by Yugoslavs on captured troops
April 3, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News


Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

Relief:
  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page


Media:
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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