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Former Yugoslavia: transfer of three muslim children

27-06-1996 News Release 96/25

More than four years of waiting ended on 25 June for the parents of three children who were transferred to Gorazde under the ICRC's family reunification programme. The boys, aged between 8 and 13, had not seen their parents since the conflict broke out in 1992 and could barely remember them. The eldest had been living with his grandparents in Belut on the Bulgarian border, some 400 kilometres from Belgrade, while the other two, who are brothers, had been in a foster home in Belgrade.

The ICRC had tried several times to reunite the children with their families, but had been refused the necessary authorization by both sides.

For the two brothers, it was a very special occasion. A brand-new sister was there to welcome them home, as their father's new wife had recently given birth to a little girl. " It was terrible to lose my wife and be forced to place my children in a foster home during the conflict " , the father explained. " This little girl means life. Now that we are together again, I am the happiest of men " .

Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC tracing office in Belgrade has reunited over 53 families between Serbia or Montenegro and central and eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina.