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Yugoslavia: Ethnic Albanians Returning Home Quickly

Geneva, 22 June 1999 (RFE/RL) - The United Nations refugee agency said today that more than 170,000 Kosovo Albanians have now gone back to their homes in little more than a week, and thousands more continue to jam the roads into the Yugoslav province. A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said some 33,000 people entered Kosovo yesterday alone, and only a few hundred are left in the camps in northern Albania which, until last week, housed 35,000 refugees. UNHCR statistics say there are still almost 600,000 people in camps and host families in the countries surrounding Kosovo. Some 88,000 more have been evacuated to third countries around the world.

The agency estimates that 109,000 people have returned from Albania and around 60,000 from Macedonia. A first group of 800 people returned from Montenegro yesterday.