Friday, June 12, 2009


June 11, 2009

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon warned in his new three-month report that Kosovo officials are ignoring his special representative, demanding that the UN mission should withdraw from Kosmet and emphasized that the security situation is relatively peaceful. He warned SC ambassadors that Kosmet Albanian leaders, ever since the unilateral proclamation of independence in February 2008, are ignoring UNMIK Head Lamberto Zannier, demanding the withdrawal of the mission as soon as possible.

Kosovo authorities have continued acting line with the Kosovo constitution and have demanded the termination of the UN mission several times, emphasizing that Resolution 1244 does not represent a relevant document any more and that they have no legal obligations to respect that document, it is said in the regular Ban’s report handed out to SC ambassadors yesterday. In the report, to be on the SC agenda on June 17, Ban assessed that EULEX is functioning under the UN patronage and is status neutral in line with Resolution 1244, As one of the serious problems in the past three months, he mentioned controversies regarding the visit of Serbian officials to Kosmet and allegations of the Kosovo authorities that the Serbian leadership cannot enter the Kosovo territory without a consent of the Kosovo foreign minister, which means south of the river Ibar.

Northern Kosmet municipalities and northern Kosovska Mitrovica continue acting independently of the rest of Kosmet, the report reads. Kosmet Serb leaders, referring to Resolution 1244, believe that UNMIK and KFOR are the only legitimate international mission and are resolute not to accept any institutions or symbols of the Kosovo authorities. They oppose changes in the Kosovo police command chain, whereby police in the north could be directly linked to the police in Pristina. The former submit their reports to EULEX now, he said, stressing that UNMIK presence in northern municipalities serves as a bridge between EULEX and local political leaders, of which some are hesitating to directly communicate with EULEX. The general security situation in Kosmet is relatively peaceful, but in Brdjani, near Mitrovica, a series of incidents broke out due to the fact that Albanians, despite Serb opposition, have tried to renew their houses torn down in 1999. After persistent mediation, UNMIK has convinced the two sides of accepting a pragmatic solution, so it was agreed on May 13 to renew five Serb and five Albanian houses. The Kosmet authorities have not managed to convince local Serbs of taking part in new security Kosovo forces, formed after the end of the Kosovo Protection Corps. According to EULEX report, 45 of the total of 300 Serb policemen returned. Ban also warned the Kosovo power company should take a more flexible stand regarding the resolution of the problem of power supply for Serb enclaves, above all due to a delicate legal and political surroundings.

Local elections in Kosmet will be held in October or November, but there is concern if local institutions, created with the adoption of a new constitution, will be able to organize the entire election process in public. Zannier has continued mediating in talks in which UNMIK officials, UN Belgrade office, EULEX and Belgrade are taking part, of technical issues of mutual interest, but Pristina officials are indecisive. Ban said that according to the UNMIK draft budget for the next two years, the number of UNMIK officials is to be reduced from 4,911 to 507, EULEX officials number 2,569 as of May 31. As in his previous reports, Ban said the number of returnees is disappointingly small, as only 137 expelled persons have returned to Kosovo since the beginning of the year, 30 Serbs, 24 Albanians, 54 Roma, Ashkalis and Egyptians.

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