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Статьи→ ИноСМИ о Черногории


июль 2009 | ИноСМИ о Черногории
Home is a stinking rubbish tip for Kosovo's forgotten refugees

   A fire destroyed part of the Roma refugee camp outside Montenegro's capital city, Podgorica, three weeks ago. It started at 6am and within an hour 18 wooden huts, home to 124 people, were reduced to smouldering heaps of tin, carpet and foam insulation – a smoking scar in the centre of this small slum city.
The camp was just waking when the blaze began, apparently caused by faulty wiring. Families inside the burning buildings had just enough time to grab their children and run. Everything else, including deeds to land back in Kosovo and ID documents, was left to the flames. This latest blaze was comparatively small. A similar fire a few months ago started during the night and killed two small children trapped in the chicken coop where they had been sleeping.

The families who lost their homes now live in tents provided by UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, or have moved into the already overcrowded homes of relatives. Local authorities have cleared the rubble but the families have been given no hope that new buildings will go up. There is a grim acceptance in the faces of those steeling themselves to rebuild their lives out of nothing, again.
Konik is the largest refugee camp in the Balkans but few outside of Montenegro know it exists. More than 2,000 Roma live here after fleeing the violence in Kosovo 11 years ago with little more than the clothes they were wearing. These are refugees from a conflict most of the world assumes was resolved years ago. Konik is a forgotten crisis.
The refugee community live in makeshift shacks built from scraps of wood, tin and rubbish. The Montenegran government put the Roma camp next to the country's largest rubbish dump and over the past decade a small town has grown out of its waste.
Children play among Montenegro's rubbish, broken glass, scraps of metal and old clothes. In the midday heat, few are wearing clothes. None are wearing shoes.

From her home on the edge of the camp, Seryama, a 37-year-old mother of five, says that her three–year-old daughter, Turkeiyama, isn't playing because she is sick. Pointing to the red welts on her arm and thumb, she said that her child had been bitten by rats. "I was outside washing and they bit her when she was asleep. We have a lot of rats here."
Seryama, like most of the refugees in Konik, has lived in the camp since leaving Kosovo. Her children were all born here. For the past seven years she has lived with her family in one of the wooden huts. They are better than the tents they used to live in, she says, but not much.
"The houses flood whenever it rains. The rain comes in through holes in the roof and water from the toilets is washed in under the walls. It comes up to my shins. We sleep on the floor and the carpet is always wet with that toilet water."
A small communal building has a water supply and a few toilets, but the water pressure is weak and there is not enough to go around. Many of the children don't bother with the toilets but relieve themselves in the rubbish where they play. In the June heat, the stench is suffocating.

Few of the children go to school. Of 1,300 students at the local primary, 270 are Roma. Save the Children is working to encourage the integration of these Roma children into a community that by and large does not accept their right to remain in Montenegro. The school's principal complains that attendance of pupils from the camp is poor and the drop-out rate is high.
Most say they don't go to school because they get bullied. Seryama's seven-year-old son went for several years but left after getting into a fight with a boy who called him a Gypsy. He says he was badly beaten and is too scared to go back.
Like all the refugees in Konik, neither Seryama nor her husband are able to work in Montenegro because they don't have the right documents. Her husband, like many men in the camp, occasionally makes money by selling metal he finds in the rubbish dump.

For those unable to work and not at school, days are passed listening to Albanian folk music on precariously rigged sound systems, drinking coffee and looking for food.
Like everyone else, Seryama and her family survive on what they can scavenge from rubbish bins, mostly potatoes and bread. If they sell some metal or Seryama gets some cleaning work in the houses outside the camp, they buy tomatoes or peppers.
"Some of the people here go to beg but I would rather eat from the rubbish tip than do that. We want to be able to work but we're not allowed. My children are always hungry and I have nothing to give them. I am hungry now but I know there is nothing in my house," Seryama said.
"I can't live like this any more. I want to leave and take my children away from here but where can I go?"
Of the 650,000 people living in Montenegro, 20,000 are refugees from the Balkan conflict. After 11 years, Montenegrin authorities are calling for the 4,000 who are Roma to leave. But as the international community looks the other way, no one has been able to tell Seryama where she and her children can go.

Комментарии (3):


07.07.2009  20:57
Ответ скрыт по итогам голосования посетителей. Показать
печальная история...  


04.04.2010  11:11
Ответ скрыт по итогам голосования посетителей. Показать
Неужели никак нельзя решить этот вопрос и помочь людям?? Черногория же вроде в ЕС собирается? Складивается впечатление, что там просто алчный ленивый народ, желающий побольше ухватить и поменьше отдать...  


04.04.2010  19:12
Ответ скрыт по итогам голосования посетителей. Показать
Одно непонятно: зачем столько детей плодить? Кто хочет работать, тот себе работу всегда найдет, а цыгане всегда вели кочевую жизнь, ничего нового. Sad
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