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Secretary-General "very concerned " about developments in Kosovo

Expressing concern about the latest developments in Kosovo, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the United Nations was doing its best to try and bring the situation under control.
Speaking at a press conference in Paris yesterday as he concluded his visit to France, Mr. Annan said there was no doubt that there have been "provocations and provocative attempts" particularly in the Presevo area, southern Serbia, near the eastern border with Kosovo. "It is clear that it is the Albanians who are now doing the most of this provocation," he added.

Officials of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), believe the situation in Presevo is "a repercussion" of the violence which first erupted in early February in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica. Members of the former Kosovo Liberation Army, or a new group that has emerged, are now fighting Serbian military and police in Presevo, forcing Albanian villagers to flee into Kosovo.

The Secretary-General said UNMIK and the international peacekeeping force (KFOR) were going to do everything they could to contain the situation and were determined to calm the situation in Mitrovica.

"They need the support of all the Member States and I hope the Member States will also be forthcoming if they need additional resources in terms of police, military and financial support," he said.

In Pristina today, KFOR spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Henning Philipp said the situation in Presevo was calm following a major success in the search for arms in eastern Kosovo, which resulted in the confiscation of a lot of weapons and the detention of some people. "I think it was a major setback for those guys who have been and still are trying to export violence from Kosovo to Serbia," he said.