Housing problems of Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 April 2000
Four years after the warring parties ratified the Dayton Peace Agreement that provided for the return of refugees into the country, Roma who have returned to Bosnia from western Europe still do not have access to their pre-war homes in the vast majority of cases.
In Bijeljina, Republika Srpska entity, only eleven Romani families have managed to move the occupants of their houses out. Most persons who have been persuaded to leave occupied houses have demanded and received 3000-6000 German marks (around 1530-3060 euro). In some instances, up to six Romani families share one reclaimed house, according to the Sarajevo-based weekly Dani of November 20, 1999. The magazine also wrote that in some cases, institutional bodies of the government of Republika Srpska are presently located in usurped Romani houses. Examples cited include the Institute for School Publishing and the Institute for Education of Republika Srpska, Secret Police, several institutions of the Republika Srpska Army, and the Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons. Several thousand Roma from Bijeljina are presently in Berlin, under threat of removal from Germany to Bosnia.
(Dani, Dnevni avaz, Oslobodjenje)