The head of the U.N. refugee agency fears refugees will flood into the rest of Europe if violence spreads beyond Serbia's troubled province of Kosovo, a magazine reported Saturday.
Focus magazine quoted Sadako Ogata as saying that Germany was a likely destination for refugees because many ethnic Albanians in Kosovo already have relatives living there.About 140,000 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo had applied for asylum in Germany even before a crackdown began Feb. 28.
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has ruled Kosovo with a heavy police presence since stripping the province of its autonomy in 1989. Ethnic Albanians, who outnumber Serbs in Kosovo 9-to-1, are seeking independence. The recent crackdown in the southern Yugoslav province killed some 80 ethnic Albanians.
Germany took in more than 320,000 refugees from Bosnia during its 31/2-year war. About 100,000 returned home last year after a 1995 peace deal led to the deployment of NATO-led peacekeeping troops.
In Bosnia, meanwhile, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy visited Canadian troops participating in the NATO force.