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Serbo Journal

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Local Albanian authoritiies in the village of Obilic near Pristina have forbidden Serb refugees access to portable buildings intended to house the most at-risk families, advised the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija.

About ten portable buildings put up in the village of Plemetina to ensure basic housing for the most at-risk Serb families have been sealed shut on the basis of a decision by local Albanian authorities.

Local authorities in Obilic claim that "there is no need for this type of housing", while local Serbs see the move by Albanian authorities as yet another form of pressure on minority communities.

The portable buildings were brought to Plemetina last week under the auspices of the Serbian government and the Coordinating Center for Kosovo to provide housing for Serbs who were expelled from their homes during rampaging by Albanian demonstrators in 2004.

Of the 7,500 Serbs who lived in Obilic and surrounding villages before the outbreak of the conflict between Serbian security forces and Albanian guerrillas in 1999, today only some one hundred remain.

Refugee returns and minority rights are the primary prerequisites the international community has given the Kosovo Albanians in response to their demands for the proclamation of the province's independence.

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