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UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK): 08 Feb 2000

Developments today, 8 February 2000 - Updated 3:30 p.m. EST
Civilian administration

Interim Administrative Council meets on ethnic violence: The Interim Administrative Council today held its first meeting after the ethnic violence that left eight ethnic Albanians dead in the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica. Head of UNMIK Bernard Kouchner said the Council took "a common stand" on the crisis and will next week meet to discuss a strategy for Mitrovica. The Council also established payment for the Kosovo Protection Corps whose top leaders were installed last month. Dr. Kouchner said sufficient funds were available.

More than 500 Albanians flee insecurity in Mitrovica: More than 500 ethnic Albanians have fled insecurity and intimidation in the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica since last Friday. UNHCR said today that 157 Albanians left the predominantly Serb northern sector of Mitrovica on Monday for safety in the southern sector. Most of them were taken south in KFOR armoured vehicles. This brings to 550 the number of Albanians who have fled from the ethnic violence, which erupted in the city last week. Before last week's violence, an estimated 4,500 Kosovo Albanians lived in the northern sector of Mitrovica. An estimated 60,000 Serbs live in the area, including some 10,000 to 15,000 Serbs displaced from other parts of Kosovo.

UNHCR's Special Envoy, Dennis McNamara, met with the Interim Administrative Council today and will travel to Mitrovica tomorrow to meet with Serb leaders. Mr. McNamara will ask both Serb and Albanian leaders to take more concrete action at the community level in helping to find the perpetrators of the violence.

For further information, contact the Spokesman's Office: tel (212) 963-7161/2; fax (212) 963-7055.