Monday, April 26, 1999 Published at 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Red Cross to return to Kosovo
More than 10,000 refugees have fled Montenegro for Albania
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it has received permission from Yugoslavia to resume its activities in Kosovo for the first time since Nato began its bombing campaign.
He had earlier had a brief meeting with the three US soldiers captured by Yugoslav forces.
Mr Sommaruga said the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, was "very positive" about the return of the ICRC into the Yugoslav province and "opened for us all possibilities to work according to our rules in Kosovo".
Speaking after a meeting with the Yugoslav leader, he said President Milosevic had told him that Yugoslav forces would try to keep Red Cross workers safe but added, "we cannot guarantee safety from the bombing" by Nato warplanes.
Red Cross workers left Kosovo after the Nato air raids began on 24 March.
Visit to PoWs
The ICRC said later that the Yugoslav authorities had granted the relief organisation a full visit to the three servicemen on Tuesday.
The US has repeatedly called for the Red Cross to be allowed access to the prisoners of war. During the meeting on Tuesday, Red Cross officials will be allowed to hold private talks with the prisoners and a doctor will be on hand to examine them.
Mr Sommaruga said that officials would "very urgently" meet representatives of the Yugoslav army, Serbian security forces and the interior ministry to discuss details of their relief operation.
"It is quite clear that security arrangements will also have to be negotiated with Nato in order to be able to work safely in Kosovo," the ICRC chief added.
President Milosevic's office said: "There is no obstacle from the Yugoslav side for the representatives and teams of the ICRC to carry out their role and tasks on the whole territory" of Yugoslavia.
News of the ICRC's return to Kosovo came as aid agencies in Albania prepared for a new influx of refugees from the province.
A United Nations High Commission for Refugees spokesman, Ron Redmond, said: "People say that paramilitaries, masked men with beards, rounded up people house to house. In one village, 21 people were killed by these men."
He said the latest refugee accounts depicted roaming Serb paramilitaries butchering people in villages of northern Kosovo, having emptied towns in the south "with clinical precision".
Kosovo Albanians arriving at the Albania-Montenegro border spoke of Serbian killings and atrocities in Montenegro triggering the new influx of refugees into Albania, while those arriving in Macedonia described attacks by Serb gunmen on civilians in villages near Pristina.
Macedonia has received about 175,000 refugees, nearly 30,000 of whom have been airlifted out the country to other European countries.
Three planeloads left on Monday morning taking refugees to Sweden, France and the Netherlands.
Overall, some 600,000 refugees are thought to have fled Kosovo in the last month, according to UNHCR estimates.
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