Skip to comments.Kosovo Albanians attack U.N.-escorted Serb lawyers
Posted on 05/26/2006 8:11:09 AM PDT by joan
Thu 25 May 2006 11:52 AM ET
(Updates with U.N. statement, details)
PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro, May 25 (Reuters) - U.N. police in Kosovo fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of ethnic Albanians who stoned a United Nations convoy escorting Serb defence lawyers in the west of the province on Thursday.
Three U.N. police officers and one translator were wounded when villagers blocked a road and lobbed stones at vehicles escorting two Serb members of a defence team accredited to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, a U.N. statement said.
"Police then had to clear the crowd, unfortunately resulting in injuries to a number of citizens who received medical treatment from an ambulance at the scene," it said.
The stoning of Serb convoys in Kosovo is not uncommon.
The province, legally part of Serbia, has been run by the U.N. since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serb forces accused of ethnic cleansing in a two-year war with separatist guerrillas.
An estimated 10,000 ethnic Albanians died and another 800,000 fled into neighbouring Macedonia and Albania.
U.N. prosecutors in The Hague say Serb police killed 100 men in the village of Mala Krusa two days into the 78-day NATO bombing campaign.
The case is included in the indictment against former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic, whose trial begins in July.
The U.N. governor in Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, said he was "outraged and disappointed" by the incident.
"It is important for the people of Kosovo to understand that their quest for justice can only be achieved through the course of justice, not by extra-judicial means," he said.
Signs of reconciliation in Kosovo are rare. Around half the Serb population fled a wave of revenge attacks after the war and the 100,000 who stayed live on the margins of society, targeted by sporadic violence.
After seven years of U.N.-imposed limbo, the major powers are pushing for a solution to Kosovo's final status in direct Serb-Albanian talks that began in February in Vienna.
The 90-percent ethnic Albanian majority is pushing for independence, but is under pressure to improve the security and rights of Serbs.
The U.N. mission says ethnically motivated crime in 2006 is down compared with previous years.
They're like cancer. First they terrorized Kosovo, then SE Serbia and Macedonia, now watch for a showdown in Montenegro and, possibly, Greece (although Greece is relatively secure being within the EU & NATO).
PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AFP) - The former US general who commanded NATO's 1999 air war against Serbia predicted its southern province of Kosovo would become independent within months.
Wesley Clark told Kosovo Albanian leaders in Pristina he had confidence in their "strong, positive and visionary proposals" to find a solution for Kosovo, which has been run by the United Nations and NATO since 1999.
"I am confident that this issue will be solved very soon, and probably in few months, Kosovo will become independent and will respect the rights of all citizens," said Clark.
"I believe that Kosovo will be welcomed into the family of the nations and that there will be many opportunities for the citizens of this country to prosper, raise big families and make their dreams come true."
Clark, who is on a three-day visit to the disputed province, met Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Agim Ceku, who said Clark was a great friend of Kosovo, who stood by it in its most difficult times.
"He is and will always be honored by the people of Kosovo," he said.
Clark commanded the 1999 NATO air strikes that drove Serbian forces loyal to former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic out of Kosovo because of their brutal crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.
yep...got this one and have commented on it in several messages..... Ceku?? pardoned?? like Pardoning Charles Manson so he could become Major or do I mean Mayor of California....:) Bad state of affairs and you have to admit that the pockets are very very Deep...to get INTERPOL to pardon a mass murderer.....and then he becomes a president.....The moderate Albanians have no idea of the ride that they are in for when the dust settles. Increase of drugs in the towns, Increase of child prostitutes and kidnappings for slavery, contraband shipments, Cleasning of the remaining minorities.....protection and donation money from businesses for the cause (Mafia and Rebel activity in Presevo and Macedonia), Islamic Fundalmentalist base of operations and training locations which are already established since 2003......timeframe...but mainly I'm concerned about the child abduction and prostitution that will be protected and increased.....Internationals are already involved.