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Kosovo: Newly Expanded KTC Meets for the First Time

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PRISTINA - Bernard Kouchner, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, told the Kosovo Transitional Council (KTC) today that he envisioned the newly expanded body would serve as a sort of control mechanism vis-à-vis the Interim Administrative Council (IAC).

He said that all IAC members are automatically members of the KTC. Each week, they will brief the KTC on their work for the IAC. If the KTC disagrees with a decision of the IAC, the KTC can propose a different course of action to the SRSG.

Dr. Kouchner also said that he hoped the KTC would discuss issues independently of the IAC. Such issues, which needed a broad consensus within Kosovar society, would include the election process.

"The Kosvo Transitional Council is not merely a weekly meeting. This is a commitment for each and every day," the SRSG told reporters after the meeting. "We are ready to listen to them and to give them the means and support."

The KTC also had a lengthy discussion on the recent events in Mitrovica. UNMIK Police Commission Sven Frederiksen and KFOR General Louis Le Miere briefed on the security situation there.

General Le Miere outlined measures designed to restore a peaceful and normal situation by reinforcing security in Mitrovica. Among the items being considered are a continued troop presence to ensure a deeper knowledge of the local population; reinforcing patrols in northern Mitrovica; enlarging the security zone around the Mitrovica bridge; increasing the screening of individuals in order to prevent external elements from entering Mitrovica; continuing the curfew as long as needed; and extending the use of UNMIK Regulation 2, "The Prevention of Access by Individuals and their Removal to Secure Public Peace and Order," to expel troublemakers.

UNMIK Police Commissioner Sven Frederiksen added that there was a need for a more robust approach in addressing the violence in Mitrovica. He told the Council that UNMIK police is investigating the murders and the attempted murders. However, the police needs the cooperation of the local population in order to successfully bring the perpetrators to trial.

The next meeting of the KTC will take place on Wednesday, 16 February at 10 a.m.

For information only - not an official record

Contact UNMIK Press and Information Office - (381-38) 500-223, ext. 5719.