War In The Balkans: Briefing: Day 44

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The Independent Online
France gave evidence yesterday to the UN International Criminal Tribunal of possible war crimes committed in Kosovo by Serbian forces. The evidence was handed to the tribunal's chief prosecutor, Louise Arbour, by French Defence Minister Alain Richard in Paris.

Defence Secretary George Robertson yesterday said that Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovo's moderate ethnic Albanian leader, could visit London next week. Rugova arrived in Rome on Wednesday after reports he had been under house arrest in Yugoslavia.

Serbia's main opposition leader, Zoran Djindjic, has fled to Yugoslavia's pro-Western republic, Montenegro, sources close to his party said yesterday.

The European Union has finalised plans to tighten sanctions against Yugoslavia. They will be implemented in the next few days, after EU governments have given formal approval.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said yesterday that plans to transfer up to 60,000 Kosovo refugees from Macedonia to Albania, were being held up by political and logistical problems. Macedonia had said it would allow new Kosovo refugees to enter only at the same rate as those already in the country were evacuated elsewhere.

Ireland will receive its first Kosovo refugees next Monday, the Irish Foreign Ministry said. Around 150 refugees are expected at an airport in the southwestern county of Kerry.

Christopher Hill, the US envoy to the Balkans, travelled to Rome yesterday for consultations with Ibrahim Rugova, the Kosovar leader.

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