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Hungarians `Welcome to Stay' in Vojvodina

January 19, 1994



The article ``Serb Ethnic Cleansing of Hungarians Alters Northern Province,'' Jan. 10, displays a lack of knowledge and fairness in your Balkan reporting. The Serbian government is not settling ``nationalist'' Serbs into Vojvodina.

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These ``nationalists'' are Serbs fleeing persecution in Croatia. Twenty thousand fled from Croatia into Serbian Vojvodina before this current war even started - with good reason. Croatian human rights activists admit that 10,000 Serbian homes have been destroyed in Croat-held Croatia and 200,000 Croatian Serbs have been chased into the Serbian Krajina region of former Croatia or Serbia itself, including Vojvodina.

In fact, Serbia houses 700,000 refugees from these areas, including up to 60,000 Muslims and 15,000 Croatians, who still feel safer in Serbia than anywhere else.

The Hungarians who left did so to avoid military service in the Yugoslav Army and to avoid the poverty caused by sanctions. Incidentally, the Romanians, Slovaks, and numerous other minorities in Vojvodina have not complained of any discrimination.

This farce should be seen for what it is: an opportunistic, irredentist move by Hungarians at a time when world opinion will take as gospel any dubious tale of Serb misbehavior.

There have been, and still are, minorities in the highest level of the Yugoslav government. The Hungarians of Vojvodina, as Yugoslav citizens, are more than welcome to stay. Dragan Minic, Phoenix, Ariz.

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