UN removes flag from hospital barring Albanian doctors: UNMIK has removed the UN flag from the Mitrovica hospital in the northern part of the city as a result of Serb doctors refusing a Saturday deadline to accept the return of 22 Albanian doctors to the hospital. A statement issued by UNMIK in Pristina today also said funding to the hospital would be cut. UNMIK plans to use the funding instead to establish another medical facility in north Mitrovica open to all patients.
Lead mine to reopen soon: Stari Trg, a lead mine in Kosovo is scheduled to reopen in the coming days, UNMIK announced today in Pristina. The reopening of Stari Trg, which is part of the Trepca mining complex, will be a significant step forward in the economic recovery of Kosovo, according to the Mitrovica Regional Administrator, Mr. Staffan de Mistura. Initially, about 200 workers will conduct a six-week assessment to see what preliminary work needs to be done to get the mine operational. Stari Trg had been producing lead mainly, but also silver, gold, cadmium, bismuth and zinc.
Kosovo Telecommunications signs contract for mobile telephone system: The Pristina region of Kosovo will have a mobile telephone system working in January 2000 following the signing of a turnkey contract on Friday. UNMIK said in a statement issued in Pristina on Saturday that the Post and Telecommunications in the territory of Kosovo (PTK) signed the contract with Alcatel and Monaco Telecom on 17 December in Paris for the supply of a GSM-900 mobile network. Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Civil Administration, Mr. Tom Koenings told a press briefing in Pristina that this was "a great moment" for Kosovo. The new telephone system will help to restart the economy, maintain security and normalize the country, he said. "The telephone rates will go down because we have competition," he added.
The first phase of the deployment of the network will be launched as early as 22 December. This first phase will provide a mobile network for the seven main cities of Kosovo and the airport within 12 weeks, according to the agreement. The Pristina region will have phones operating in January 2000.
As operator of the mobile telephone network, PTK-Vala 900, a subsidiary of PTK, will purchase from Alcatel the equipment necessary to install the network, which will have a capacity of 100,000 lines. Alcatel is responsible for the installation and the starting up of the equipment. PTK-Vala 900 will set up pre-paid and post-paid calling systems for subscribers and will also be able to benefit from over 100 international roaming agreements, allowing callers to get through to all major countries. This will produce substantial revenue, which will remain within PTK-Vala 900.
UNMIK police arrest three suspects: UNMIK police, assisted by KFOR, today arrested an Albanian man suspected of having murdered five people of Serb and Roman ethnicity in the Pristina region. Three other Albanian men were arrested last week in connection with these murders. All four are suspected of being members of the Kosovo Protection Corps. On Sunday, KFOR arrested three men in Prizren for arson and three others in the area of the Multinational Brigade North for illegal possession of weapons. UNMIK police are investigating a murder in which an Albanian male was found dead in the village of Bukos in Mitrovica. The police are also investigating an explosion last night in Dardanija that damaged a large number of cars.