Developments today, 15 February 2000 -
Updated 3:30 p.m. EST
Kosovo Serb leaders endorse Mitrovica security measures: Kosovo Serb leaders today endorsed a package of measures to restore security and build peaceful co-existence in Mitrovica. The head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, on a visit to Gracanica, received the endorsement from Bishop Artemije and other leaders of the Serb National Council. The package, which was presented to the Interim Administrative Council (IAC) yesterday evening, includes the immediate redeployment of 100 UNMIK police to Mitrovica, with another 200 police to follow, bringing the total UNMIK police strength in the area to 600. UNMIK will also appoint international judges and prosecutors to try possible suspects charged in the recent outbreak of violence in the city. The measures presents ways to protect the property and freedom to return of all displaced persons, both Albanian and Serb, and to restore freedom of movement for all communities. Longer-term measures include restarting employment, initially with the re-opening of three factories and parts of the Trepca mining complex. Dr. Kouchner also called on the leadership of the Serb National Council to take up their seat on the IAC.
IAC discusses steps to facilitate holding of elections: The Interim Administrative Council (IAC) at its meeting today discussed pending regulations designed to facilitate the holding of elections later this year. Under discussion were regulations on the registration of political parties and on a central civil registration process and the establishment of a Central Election Commission, which would be responsible for compiling a voters' list. The IAC also discussed final arrangements for the establishment of the departments of Health & Social Welfare, Education & Science, Local Administration and the Central Fiscal Authority (Budget & Finance). They will become operational once regulations defining their exact functions are signed. The meeting also agreed that Behxhet Brajshori of the LDK (Democratic League of Kosovo) would be the Kosovar co-head of Public Services, another department to be established under the Joint Interim Administrative Structure.
For further information, contact the Spokesman's Office: tel (212) 963-7161/2; fax (212) 963-7055.