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Macedonia: Whether ethnic Albanians who assisted the incoming Kosovars at the Kosovo-Macedonia border during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia were detained or harassed by the state, or had criminal proceedings initiated against them; whether the Kosovo-Macedonia border was temporarily closed during the period of the bombing and, if so, whether the state treatment of ethnic Albanians assisting the Kosovars at the border was different during the closure(s); if criminal proceedings were initiated against ethnic Albanians during the bombing period, whether they were continued after the bombings ended (March 1999 - present)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 5 January 2001
Citation / Document Symbol MCD36153.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Macedonia: Whether ethnic Albanians who assisted the incoming Kosovars at the Kosovo-Macedonia border during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia were detained or harassed by the state, or had criminal proceedings initiated against them; whether the Kosovo-Macedonia border was temporarily closed during the period of the bombing and, if so, whether the state treatment of ethnic Albanians assisting the Kosovars at the border was different during the closure(s); if criminal proceedings were initiated against ethnic Albanians during the bombing period, whether they were continued after the bombings ended (March 1999 - present), 5 January 2001, MCD36153.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be67c.html [accessed 24 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The following articles mention closures of the Kosovo-Macedonia border during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia:

An 8 April 1999 AFP article states:

The Yugoslav authorities have reopened a border crossing into Macedonia and Kosovo. Albanian refugees have been passing through, an AFP correspondent said. The Jazince border crossing in northern Macedonia was closed on Wednesday [7 April] by the Yugoslavs.

An 8 May 1999 AFP article states:

Europe's humanitarian affairs commissioner, Emma Bonino, on Saturday [8 May] criticized Macedonia's decision to shut its borders to refugees flooding in from Kosovo. ... "I am informed that the border is open. I wonder if it is not closed by the Serbs from the other side. It is sort of a tricky game," said Bonino, reflecting the conflicting reports coming from the border area. Her comments, which come on the third leg of a tour of the region, followed Macedonia's move Wednesday to close its borders to asylum-seekers in a bid to press western countries to accept more Kosovars. The flow of Kosovo refugees into Macedonia has dried up since mid-week. At first a thousand people were turned away; later the Macedonian authorities said the border crossing was open and accused the Serbs of preventing the refugees from entering. The frontier between Macedonia and Kosovo appeared to remain closed Saturday.

A 26 May 1999 AFP article states:

Yugoslavia appeared to have closed its border with Macedonia Wednesday [26 May], suddenly stopping the flow of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. The closure occurred at around 0800 local (0600GMT) and no further refugees were waiting in the no-man's-land between the two countries at the main crossing pint of Blace, said Ron Redmond, UNHCR spokesman in Macedonia. ... "According to unverifiable rumours, the Serbs have closed the frontier for two or three days," he said. ...

Macedonia, which closed the frontier at the beginning of the month because it said it could take no more refugees ...

No information on the treatment by the Macedonian authorities of ethnic Albanians who assisted the incoming Kosovars at the Kosovo-Yugoslavia border during the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

AFP [Paris, in English]. 8 April 1999. "Yugoslav Authorities Reopen Border Crossing to FYROM." (FBIS-EEU-1999-0408 08 Apr. 1999/WNC)

_____. 8 May 1999. "EU Commissioner Criticizes FYROM Over Closure of Border." (FBIS-EEU-1999-0508 8 May 1999/WNC)

_____. 26 May 1999. "UNHCR Says Serbs Closed Border with FYROM." (FBIS-EEU-1999-0526 26 May 1999/WNC)

Additional Sources Consulted

Correspondence sent to two oral sources

IRB databases

Internet sites including:

European Centre for Minority Issues

Hokkaido University Slavic Research Centre

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting

International Crisis Group

International Helsinki Federation

Macedonian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights

World News Connection

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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