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Red Cross: Nearly 2,300 people still unaccounted for from Kosovo war

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro-Nearly 2,300 people are still missing from the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict, an international Red Cross official said Wednesday, urging former foes to help clarify their fate.

Exhumations of war victims at various locations in Kosovo and other parts of Serbia, followed by DNA tests of the remains, enabled identification of hundreds from an original list of more than 3,000 people unaccounted for after the conflict, said Francois Stamm, the International Committee of the Red Cross' head of operations for southeastern Europe.

But "2,287 people are currently unaccounted for," Stamm said in the Serbian capital, where he chaired a meeting of Serbian and ethnic Albanian officials representing the former warring sides.

As many as 120 bodies were found and successfully identified in recent months, but that was "mostly the result of exhumation and identification processes linked to grave sites that were already known," Stamm said.

"For further progress to be made, the most senior authorities in Belgrade and (Kosovo's capital) Pristina must fulfill their responsibility by ... making available new information on grave site locations as well as other information," he added.

Some 10,000 people, mostly ethnic Albanians, are believed to have lost their lives in the fighting, which ended when NATO conducted a bombing campaign in 1999 and forced Serbia to halt its crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in the southern province. Kosovo then became a U.N. protectorate.

Among those still unaccounted for, 730 are Serbs and the rest are mostly ethnic Albanians, said Veljko Odalovic, a Serb representative at the meeting.

  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:47 PM |  

    "Among those still unaccounted for, 730 are Serbs and the rest are mostly ethnic Albanians, said Veljko Odalovic, a Serb representative at the meeting."

    So there are no Roma whatsoever? That doesn't sound right. Roma were kidnapped and killed by the KLA. Most of the Kosovo Roma have Albanian-sounding names.

    I remember soon after NATO took over the province, the German contingent discovered the KLA torturing over a dozen Roma at a police station. They were handcuffed and one older man had recently died.

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