Doctors w/o Borders group quits Kosovo in protest at NATO

Seth Ackerman SAckerman at
Tue Aug 8 12:04:09 PDT 2000

> Humanitarian doctors leave Kosovo in protest
> The Associated Press
> PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (August 7, 2000 5:16 p.m. EDT
> - Accusing the United
> Nations of allowing ethnic cleansing to continue in
> Kosovo, the Belgian branch of the humanitarian group
> Doctors Without Borders announced Monday it was
> leaving the embattled area.
> Doctors Without Borders "can no longer tolerate the
> serious and continuous deterioration of living
> conditions of the ethnic minorities in Kosovo," the
> group said in a statement released in Pristina. French
> teams from Doctors Without Borders will remain in the
> province.
> The group said the Belgian doctors had been
> "eyewitnesses to the daily harassment and terror
> against the Serb minority in (the towns of) Vucitrn
> and Srbica and the Albanian minority in (the northern
> part of Kosovska) Mitrovica."
> The group said life for ethnic minorities was marked
> by killings, drive-by shootings, hand grenade attacks,
> verbal abuse, threats, robbery and blackmail. Many had
> been forced to leave their homes, the group said.
> More than a year after NATO and the United Nations
> marched into Kosovo, mistrust and violence still
> fester between ethnic Albanians, Serbs and other
> minority groups. International officials make almost
> daily appeals for tolerance, saying ethnic tensions
> are preventing the southern Serb province from
> achieving economic and social progress.
> "Doctors Without Borders questions the appropriateness
> of humanitarian medical and psychological assistance
> when, in the presence of internationally mandated
> protection forces, the fundamental rights of people
> are being denied," the statement said.
> The Paris-based group, which was awarded the Nobel
> Peace Prize in 1999, has worked in Kosovo since 1993.
> It provides home-based care in the ethnically divided
> city of Kosovska Mitrovica.
> __________________________________________________
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