Security Council to send mission to Kosovo: The Security Council is to send a mission to Kosovo towards the end of April to review the situation there. Speaking to the press yesterday, Council President, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh, said the mission's mandate would be to assess the implementation of the UN resolution on Kosovo and the operations of UNMIK, and to see what difficulties it faces.
The mission would also "take a strong message of the Council to the parties concerned in Kosovo to end hostilities and engage in the development work, the restoration of the civic life in that territory," Ambassador Chowdhury said.
Kouchner attends Regional Funding Conference for South East Europe: The head of UNMIK, DR. Bernard Kouchner left yesterday for Brussels to attend the Regional Funding Conference for South East Europe jointly chaired by the European Union and the World Bank, UNMIK spokeswoman Nadia Younes said today. The conference discussed regional projects involving Kosovo and its neighbours, such as the Blace-Pristina highway enlargement as well as projects relating to the roads between Albania and Kosovo.
In a press statement, the World Bank said today the total value of the projects under discussion amounts to 1.8 billion euro ($1.6 billion). The money would fund quick-start projects, getting underway in the next 12 months, to upgrade infrastructure, promote trade, encourage investment, protect human rights, tackle corruption and boost cooperative security, the Bank said.
Car registration nets over $120,000 daily: Some 250,000 deutsche marks ($121,585) are being collected every day from vehicle registration in Kosovo, UNMIK spokeswoman Nadia Younes said today. "The response to the deadline on car registration has been tremendous -- long lines of cars waiting to be registered," she said. Motorists who do not register their vehicles by 31 March risk fines and impoundment. The registration, however, will continue after that date, she added.
Kosovars unable to pay for utilities invited to apply for exemption: Kosovars who are "very vulnerable" and cannot pay for water and electricity will have until 28 April to apply for exemption from paying. UNMIK spokeswoman Nadia Younes said today that application forms for exemptions would be distributed tomorrow.
UNMIK Police increases significantly: The UNMIK police force now numbers 2,823, which shows a " significant increase" over the last months, UNMIK spokeswoman Nadia Younes said today. The latest arrivals include 100 members of a Special Police Unit from Pakistan; 15 police from Jordan, who are the advance team of a Jordanian Special Police Unit; 37 from Nigeria; 51 from the United States; and 53 from Nepal.
Meanwhile, UNMIK police said it made 10 arrests for major crimes last week including five for murder, two for kidnapping and three for rape. The police also reported that, on Sunday, a Roma man was found dead in his house in Istok, apparently strangled. Last night, the police reported, there were numerous incidents of gunfire in Pristina from just before midnight until 3 a.m. Several gunshots were fired from a building in Dardania, across the street from a UNMIK police station. Police said the KFOR soldiers and UNMIK police on the scene appeared to have been targeted. The apartment building from where the gunfire issued is now sealed off and under investigation by KFOR.
UNMIK's chief of Electronic Data Processing Division dies: UNMIK yesterday held a memorial service for the chief of Electronic Data Processing Division, Mr. Stephen Matsikiwa of Zimbabwe, who died last week in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia where he was being treated for meningitis. UNMIK said today Mr. Matsikiwa was a veteran of information processing on UN missions and had worked for UNMIK since August 1999. The head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, told his family in a letter that they could be "proud of the efforts and achievements Stephen made in the international community's quest for peace, stability and democracy in Kosovo."
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