U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 1998 - Macedonia

  At the end of 1997, Macedonia hosted about 3,500 Bosnian refugees. About 300 refugees lived in collective centers in Katlanovo and Radusa; the remainder were in private homes. About 45 percent of the refugees in 1997 were women; 9 percent were under the age of five. Macedonia regarded the Bosnians as persons with temporary protected status still in need of durable solutions. During 1997, 407 Bosnian refugees repatriated, according to the Macedonian government. The government recorded no asylum claims in 1997 and no new refugee arrivals. Macedonia stopped providing refuge to new Bosnian arrivals in 1993. Those remaining in 1997 arrived before 1994. During the government collapse in Albania in the spring of 1997, the Macedonian army went on red alert along Macedonia's porous border with Albania, although the concern appeared to stem less from the prospect of an influx of refugees than from preventing arms smuggling. The border is also patrolled by the UN Preventive Deployment Force and OSCE civilian monitors. During the height of the crisis in Albania, Macedonia did allow a few hundred Albanians to enter. Generally, during the year, however, Macedonian border police prevented Albanians from entering. Albanians crossing into Macedonia appeared to be seeking day labor. Other nationalities apprehended by the border patrol were not regarded as seeking asylum in Macedonia, but as attempting to transit Macedonia en route to Greece.

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