Local News

Albania Extending Support to Kosovo Refugees

Posted April 14, 1999

— U.S. military leaders say the huge refugee columns heading out of Kosovo are proof of a final push by the Serb forces to rid the province of Ethnic Albanians.

WRAL reporter Mark Roberts and photographer Joe Frieda are in Albania, which is taking in a tremendous number of refugees.

While there are reports that some areas, such as Macedonia, are not welcoming refugees, that is not the case in Albania.

There are camps all over capital city of Tirana, where municipal facilities have been turned into places for the refugees to be housed until they can find permanent facilities or return to Kosovo.

For example, a local gym and swimming pool have been converted into camps.

At midnight Wednesday, Roberts described the atmosphere in Tirana as "business as usual."

NATO has taken over the airfield in Tirana, and military aircraft from Italy, France and the U.S. are represented there.

According to Roberts, The country is very different from our own; roads are in poor condition and hard to travel.

Albanians feel strongly about what is going on to their north and that their ethnic neighbors are being wronged.

Recognizing Roberts as a Westerner, an Albanian man who did not speak English approached him and said "Up with America, down with Milosevic." Watch for reports from WRAL's crew in Albania during WRAL's 6:00 and 11:00 News.

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