About 100 Kosovars continue to remain in Syria and Iraq. According to the latest data from the Kosovo Police, there are mostly children there.
In a written response to Radio Free Europe, the Kosovo Police said that according to the latest data in their possession, there are still 96 Kosovars in the conflict zone, of which 43 men, nine women and 44 children, (including 32 children born in the conflict zone by at least one Kosovar parent). Meanwhile, the Atlantic Initiative from Sarajevo says that 97 people from Kosovo continue to be in the conflict zones, while 400 in total from the Western Balkans.
In April 2019, Kosovo institutions, assisted by US authorities, repatriated a group of 110 Kosovars, including four foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children.
But for the remaining group in Syria, Kosovo institutions have not yet provided any information on whether work is underway for their repatriation.
Speaking at the meeting of the Global Coalition against the militant group, Islamic State, Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Donika Gërvalla, said that Kosovo has been committed to the reintegration of returnees from Syria.
“We are taking special care of women and their children. We must do everything we can to return them to a normal life, to hope for a happy future for them “, declared Minister Gërvalla.
Gërvalla said that the process of reintegration of returnees has been successful and that programs for deradicalization have been created.
“We have not only managed to get the children back to school, but we also provide psychological support for them and their mothers. “Furthermore, we have created programs for deradicalization, which include even people who are in custody,” she said.
In this meeting of the Global Coalition against IS held in Rome, Italy, Minister Gërvalla did not speak about the 96 Kosovars who continue to be in Syria.
Since Kosovars began joining the war in Syria and Iraq in 2013, Kosovo Police have said they have arrested about 20 people for terrorism-related offenses.
Since the start of the war in Syria in March 2011, about 400 Kosovars have traveled to Syria and Iraq.
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