UNHCR Says War Refugees Still Top Priority

world | Apr 03, 2012 | By RFE/RL 

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that 20 years after the start of the siege of Sarajevo, the plight of refugees from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia remains one the agency's top five priorities.

UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said on April 2 that "most of those forced to flee their homes" during the 1991-1995 Bosnian conflict have either returned home or been locally integrated.

She said the UNHCR "has welcomed renewed efforts of the governments in the region aimed at speeding housing solutions for some 74,000 people" whom she described as "vulnerable and needy refugees" from the conflict.

The 44-month siege of Sarajevo began 20 years ago this week, on April 6, 1992.

The conflict left up to 200,000 people dead. A further 2.2 million were internally displaced or fled their homes as refugees.

With reporting by AP

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