BELGRADE – In Serbia, there are 204,049 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Kosovo-Metohija, the director of the Serbian government office for Kosovo-Metohija said on Tuesday, noting that the return of Serbs and other non-Albanians is limited by a lack of a mechanism for a return of usurped property.

Seventeen years after the conflict in Serbia’s southern province, the problem of displaced persons remains, Djuric said at the third high-level regional forum on permanent solutions for displaced persons from Kosovo-Metohija.

Over the past years, Serbia has earmarked large funds to provide accommodation to IDPs and improve their position and also developed support strategies, with assistance coming from the EU as well through IPA funds, he said.

Despite all efforts, the problem remains because IDPs cannot exercise their individual rights in their places of origin, Djuric noted.

That is why the issue cannot be solved without a coordinated set of activities by all interested parties in order to establish a suitable implementation framework in Kosovo-Metohija, Djuric said.