Kosovo's Administrative Council pledges to work for a united Mitrovica: The Interim Administrative Council (IAC) has pledged to work to unite the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica. In a statement issued after its regular meeting today, the IAC said it was committed to transforming Mitrovica into "a United City without any dividing lines", prevent any further expulsions from the city and protect the property of those displaced. The IAC will facilitate freedom of movement in the city and enable the safe return of all those who have fled their homes, including Serbs from the southern sector, according to the statement read by the head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner.
After today's Council meeting, Dr. Kouchner said UNMIK plans to establish a joint administration in Mitrovica under a special administrator, as one of the first steps in restoring co-existence. He said the scheme implied abolishing the 'parallel structures' set up by Serbs in northern Mitrovica and UNMIK was working on a "Mitrovica appeal" to donors to fund recovery efforts in the region. Dr. Kouchner also said KFOR engineers planned to build in the next two to three weeks a footbridge linking the south side of the Ibar river with an apartment block on the north side where several Albanian families live.
Administrative Council finalizes regulations setting up four departments: At its regular meeting today, the Interim Administrative Council (IAC) finalized the regulations setting up the first four administrative departments of the Joint Interim Administrative Structure. The departments are Education, Health & Welfare, Local Administration, and Central Fiscal Authority. Regulations have yet to be finalized for 15 other departments. The IAC also discussed the status of the premises for the 19 departments and the urgent need for additional office space. The Deputy Special Representatives, Mr. Tom Koenigs (Interim Civil Administration) and Mr. Daan Everts (Institution-Building) briefed the IAC on progress in formulating plans for a Central Election Commission.
Albanians in north Mitrovica reduced to less than 1,000: UNHCR said today the number of Kosovo Albanians remaining in north Mitrovica could be well under 1,000 persons, perhaps as few as 500. The agency said it has registered some 1,600 people who have fled north Mitrovica, but the actual number of people who have left could be as high as 2,000 people, mostly Kosovo Albanians. Most of these are being accommodated by relatives and friends in south Mitrovica. UNHCR estimated that before the violence erupted on 3 February the entire Kosovo Albanian population living in north Mitrovica and the surrounding area was 4,500, of which 2,500 lived in north Mitrovica.
UNHCR said that KFOR is distributing food to families in north Mitrovica who do not feel safe to go out. It also said it was looking into reports that some of the minority families in the north do not have electricity which seems to have been purposely shut off in some areas.