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UN Kosovo envoy to bring issue of missing/detained persons before Security Council

The head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Dr. Bernard Kouchner, plans to bring the issue of missing and detained persons from Kosovo before the UN Security Council in early March, a UNMIK spokesperson said in Pristina today.
Dr. Kouchner, who describes the issue as "an open wound" for Kosovo, has raised the issue of missing persons with every foreign government he has visited since he was appointed the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN spokesperson, Susan Manuel said. He has continued to demand that detainees in Serbian prisons be released "immediately and without conditions," she added.

Quoting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates, Dr. Kouchner has said that while nearly 500 Kosovo Albanians have been released from detention since June, more than 1,600 remain in Serbian jails. In addition, some 3,000 people, mostly Kosovo Albanians, remain unaccounted for.

The fate of missing persons from non-Albanian communities is also of grave concern, Ms. Manuel said. The ICRC has recorded a list of 346 missing Serbs, most of whom disappeared after 10 June 1999, when UNMIK and the international peacekeeping force, KFOR, assumed responsibility for administration and security in Kosovo