It has been nearly 18 years since Natasa Scepanovic has seen her parents.
The couple were living in Istok, a town in Kosovo*. After the war that ripped the area apart, Scepanovic’s parents, ethnic Serbians, remained in the town they had lived in, believing that the conflict was over and they were safe. They knew their neighbours and though there were tensions between Serbian and Albanian ethnic groups, it had not hit the town. Besides, she said, if there was trouble, United Nations and other international forces were on hand to protect people.
“They had a good relationship with their neighbours, who were Albanians, and they trusted the international community…so of course they were convinced that they would be protected if something happened,” she said.