Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence - Kosovo

Number of IDPsAbout 18,000
Percentage of total populationAbout 0.9%
Start of displacement situation1999
Peak number of IDPs (year)36,000 (2000)
New displacement in 2012Undetermined
Causes of displacementx International armed conflict
✓ Internal armed conflict
x Deliberate policy or practice of arbitrary displacement
✓ Communal violence
x Criminal violence
x Political violence
Human development index

In 1999, NATO airstrikes forced Yugoslav troops to withdraw from Kosovo and led to the displacement of more than 245,000 people. Ethnic violence against non-Albanians, mainly Serbs and Roma, displaced another 4,200 in 2004.

At the end of 2012, about 18,000 IDPs remained in Kosovo. Over half were Kosovo Serbs, 40 per cent Kosovo Albanians and five per cent Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (RAE). Most Kosovo Serb IDPs live in northern Kosovo. Those living elsewhere often have limited freedom of movement and little access to land or livelihoods.

Thirteen years after their displacement, only around 4,500 IDPs have returned to their places of origin as a result of the continued risk of insecurity, discrimination, limited freedom of movement and restricted access to services, housing and livelihoods. They were particularly affected by increasing tensions and sporadic violence during 2012.

Many IDPs and returnees, particularly RAEs, still need assistance. As of December 2012, around 950 IDPs were still living in 38 substandard collective centres. The Kosovo Property Agency has decided more than 80 per cent of the claims submitted to it, but many decisions still had to be implemented and occupation and re-occupation of housing and land continued to be a challenge.

Significant challenges remain, including a lack of IDPs' political participation, a shortage of resources and inadequate coordination between central and local authorities. International supervision of Kosovo ended in September and talks with Serbia resumed towards the end of the year, with the aim of normalising relations between Pristina and Belgrade.

All reference to Kosovo should be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.

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