Refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Paul Prettitore
    • 13.04.05 | 11:07 (IDT)

    Dear Mr. Eldar: I read with great interest your article "Just So There's No Partner". I would like to correct one misperception. The Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, did not rule for the transfer of homes from one side to the other. Far from it. Annex 7 of the Peace Accord mandated that refugees and displaced persons have the right to chose whether or not to take possession of their pre-war homes. These rights were enforced through a number of post-conflict laws that abolished any wartime confiscations of property and established a claims mechanism for the return of property. After such laws came into effect more than 250,000 claims were filed for the return of property. And within roughly six years more than ninety percent of those claims were resolved - meaning that the claimants took possession of thier homes. This does not mean that all claimants actually moved back to their homes. In fact anecdotal evidence shows the contrary. But the point was that the Peace Accord created an individual right, and each refugee and displaced person could chose whether to repossess their home and return to it. AS the former Property Law Coordinator at the Office of the High Representative in Sarajevo, I worked for more than two years on this issue, including helping draft laws on restitution of property. If you would like further information on this issue, please feel free to contact me. Sincerely, Paul Prettitore

    from the article: Just so there's no partner
    First published 00:00 11.04.05 | Last updated 00:00 11.04.05
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