TITLE:U.S. WOULD CONSIDER ACCEPTING MORE BOSNIAN REFUGEES (12/02/93)
U.S. WOULD CONSIDER ACCEPTING MORE BOSNIAN REFUGEES
1Brunson McKinley outlines U.S. policy) (430)
By Wendy Lubetkin
USIA European Correspondent
Geneva -- If the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina worsens, the United States
would consider increasing the number of refugees it accepts from the former
Yugoslavia, says a top U.S. refugee official.
"Depending on what happens on the ground, we would be prepared to enlarge
our program," Brunson McKinley, State Department deputy assistant
secretary, Bureau for Refugee Programs, said at a December 2 news briefing
The Bosnian demand for settlement in the United States has thus far been
relatively low, he said, noting that most Bosnians have preferred to stay
closer to home in the hope of going back when the conflict is over. Some
have sought resettlement in European countries -- especially Germany --
where many have relatives and there is already a large community from the
"We have been taking in some Bosnians and other former Yugoslavs, but it has
been a rather modest program so far," McKinley said.
Refugee and other humanitarian issues will increasingly be a major factor to
be considered by the State Department and other government agencies as they
reorganize in the coming years, McKinley said.
Building the capability to deal with humanitarian crises is a key part of
the U.S. government's efforts to "retool for the post-Cold War era," he
explained. Not only the State Department but also the Department of
Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and even the
intelligence community are evolving in this direction, he said.
Noting the Pentagon's efforts to increase humanitarian efforts, McKinley
added, "This may seem paradoxical, but in fact it is something the
military, and especially the U.S. military, is well-suited to do." He
cited the Defense Department's ability to provide transport in emergency
situations and to stockpile and deliver emergency supplies such as food,
shelter and blankets..
Even the intelligence community, McKinley said, is looking at improving its
ability to give early warning of emerging humanitarian or refugee crises.
At least three U.S. government agencies will contribute to the $150-million
aid package for Bosnia recently announced by Secretary of State
Christopher. As part of that assistance, airlift and airdrop operations in
the former Yugoslavia will be doubled, in an effort funded and operated by
the Department of Defense. Food relief will be provided by USAID. The
Bureau for Refugee Programs will provide $30 million in cash support for
the operations of international organizations in the field.
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