Secretary-General appeals for more police and judges to cement rule of law in Kosovo: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appealed to Members States to provide, "as a matter of urgency", the necessary number of police, judges, prosecutors and penal experts to cement rule of law and build on the achievements so far made by UNMIK. In a report to the Security Council released today, the Secretary-General says UNMIK has achieved much, but warns progress is "not yet irreversible" and the potential for further violence, including a spill-over effect in southern Serbia "remains a real possibility".
Mr. Annan says the events in Mitrovica serve to remind us that ethnic tensions can still trigger dramatic cycles of violence and urged all Kosovo leaders and ordinary people to bring violence, intimidation and harassment to an end. To assist in this, he urges Member States to accelerate the deployment of police officers and special police units for Kosovo. He also urges Member States to continue to participate in the longer-term reconstruction and rehabilitation of the economy of Kosovo.
Interim Administrative Council endorses regulations setting up two more departments: The Interim Administrative Council (IAC) today endorsed draft regulations setting up the departments of Justice and Public Services, which will become operational once the regulations are signed by the head of UNMIK. In a statement issued after the IAC meeting, UNMIK said the Council also discussed in detail two draft regulations dealing with preparations for the municipal elections due later this year -- one on the registration of political parties and the other on creation of a central election commission.
The IAC was briefed on the situation in Mitrovica and the efforts to return quickly those people who were displaced during the recent disturbances in the city. Members also discussed the draft joint strategy for Mitrovica and its implementation and agreed on its internal rules of procedure for its work.
Security Council expresses regret over the killing of a Russian soldier in Kosovo: The UN Security Council today expressed regret over the killing of a Russian soldier who was shot on Tuesday outside a UNMIK municipal building. Council President, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh, said two British soldiers were also wounded in another incident close by. Private Igor Korshunov, a member of the Russian KFOR contingent, died of gunshot wounds yesterday. He is the first peacekeeper to die as a result of a deliberate attack by the local people on KFOR.
The head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner today paid his respects to the Russian contingent over the death of Private Korshunov who was shot while driving his commanding officer to a meeting in Srbica. Yesterday, KFOR Commander General Klaus Reinhardt led his headquarters staff in a moment of silence to pay the traditional military tribute to a fallen comrade.
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