U.N. in Kosovo says 'credible threats' against staff.

U.N. police in Kosovo said on Monday they had received 'credible threats' against

U.N. personnel and property in the breakaway Serbian province.

A U.N. statement said the threats were being taken seriously 'and citizens will see an increase in police activity and presence'.

The U.N.-run province is braced for a rise in violence after a year-end deadline for a decision on the ethnic Albanian majority's demand for independence from Serbia was pushed back until early 2007.

Diplomats say Kosovo will probably win some form of independence, supervised by the European Union, but the timeframe and path to statehood remain unclear.

'The status process is in a critical phase and the world has its eyes on Kosovo, when any violent act would only set the clock back,' the U.N. statement said.

Activists led by former political prisoner [sic] Albin Kurti have called a mass protest for Tuesday against the U.N.-led process of negotiation.

The U.N. mission, which has run Kosovo since NATO bombs drove out Serb forces in 1999, has been targeted by grenade attacks and shootings before.

The worst such violence followed the March 2005 indictment of then prime minister Ramush Haradinaj on war crimes charges. Grenades exploded under U.N. vehicles and outside the Pristina headquarters over a period of months, but no one was hurt.

Serbia lost control of the province of 2 million people in 1999, when NATO intervened to halt the killing and ethnic cleansing of Albanians by Serb forces in a two-year war with guerrillas.

NATO has around 17,000 peacekeepers in the province.

A NATO spokesman said the force had not taken any special measures in light of the U.N. statement.

[Source: Reuters, Pristina, Serbia, 27Nov06]

Tienda de Libros Radio Nizkor On-Line Donations

HR in Kosovo
small logoThis document has been published on 08Dec06 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.