ad info
   middle east

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards





World - Europe

Refugee flow into Macedonia slows; Albania may take 1 million

May 9, 1999
Web posted at: 3:47 a.m. EDT (0747 GMT)

MORINA, ALBANIA (CNN) -- The Albanian government has agreed to take as many as 1 million refugees from Kosovo, according to special envoy Dennis McNamara of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

In high level meetings, Albanian officials said they would take "as many refugees as necessary, as many as 1 million people if that is what it takes," McNamara said.

The development came as Macedonia, which already has absorbed thousands of refugees, with many now housed in camps as large as cities, said it would close its borders to new arrivals until some of those already in Macedonia have moved out to new locations.

CNN's Tom Mintier said on Sunday that the border crossing at Blace, Macedonia, formerly overflowing with refugees, was now nearly deserted.

Some refugees who could not obtain other transportation paid exorbitant taxi rates to bring their families to the border crossing. One family spent the equivalent of $7,000.

The UNHCR said only a "handful" of refugees arrived in Macedonia on Saturday, but on Friday, 1,914 arrived.

European Union Humanitarian Chief Emma Bonino traveled to Macedonia on Saturday after the Macedonian government threatened to close its border with Kosovo. She said closing the border was "simply not acceptable."

Bonino met with a family of refugees in the Macedonian camp of Cegrane, where an estimated 31,000 refugees are staying.

In Albania: 5000 fresh arrivals

In Kukes, Albania more than 5,000 refugees arrived on Saturday -- on foot, in wheelbarrows, carrying bundles and revealing tales of hardship.

CNN's Nic Robertson reported Sunday that one refugee told him that after the food ran out, he fed his family with flowers and plants.

The steady influx of refugees from Kosovo into Albania continued Saturday, with about 500 people arriving every hour, officials said.

Officials with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe told CNN they have spotted a line of refugees more than six miles long from their vantage point on Albania's border with Kosovo.

Newly arrived refugees from Pec appeared very emotional and malnourished as they crossed the border, observers said. The UNHCR said the refugees have reported incidents of Serb attacks and mass killings in Pec.

Correspondents Tom Mintier and Nic Robertson contributed to this report.

Annan defends U.N. refugee aid, says agency 'overwhelmed'
May 7, 1999
Annan calls for U.N. to lead peacemaking efforts
May 7, 1999
Macedonian border closing strands thousands
May 6, 1999
Yugoslavs send mixed message about peace plan
May 6, 1999

May 6, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

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

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • 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

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • The IOM Migration Web
  • 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
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.