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Ethnic cleansing continues: Bishop

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (ACN): Almost seven years after the end of the war in former Yugoslavia, ethnic cleansings have become permanent, a bishop from Bosnia said.

Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka, made the comment during a visit to the headquarters of the international Catholic aid agency, Aid to the Church in Need, in Germany.

Out of a total of about 70,000 Catholics who had been expelled from his diocese, only 1800 had returned so far, he said.

The bishop said the authorities were systematically obstructing the return of these refugees.

‘Hypocrisy and a lack of political will on the side of the authorities, together with the influential role of certain interested parties are combining to give the impression that the political crimes committed during the war have paid off,’ the bishop said.

He also lamented the lack of material support by the international community.

For example, the aid program of the European Union, known as CARDS, makes no provision for helping Catholics who wish to return to the region of Banja Luka in northern Bosnia. All the more important then was private aid, he added.

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