Serbia + 1 more

UNMIK: SRSG Visits Orahovac/Rahovec and Velica Hoca

News and Press Release
Originally published
Pristina -Bernard Kouchner, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, today visited Orahovac/Rahovec and Velica Hoca where he met with local Serb and Albanian leaders to discuss their concerns. He was accompanied by KFOR Commander General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovoic.

After visiting the Serb area in Orhovac, the SRSG first met in Velica Hoca with Serb leaders, who briefed him about their about security issues and protecting the community. In addition, they discussed the need for enhanced freedom of movement for the Serb residents living in enclaves in the area and improving basic services, including utilities, water, health care and education.

"The conditions here are not good and we must improve them," Dr. Kouchner told Serbs in Orahovac. "Kosovo is for all the communities living here. They must all enjoy a future of freedom and a good life."

"We decided to build a clinic in Orahovac, better than the existing one, with international doctors and dentists," Kouchner told a crowd of residents outside the school in Velica Hoca after the meeting. "We also decided to look closer at the population's freedom of movement, transportation and let us hope, a return back to jobs and building industry. We also promise to re-establish the electric lines here in Velica Hoca."

The SRSG then met with local Albanian leaders in Orahovec to discuss ways to revitalize the economy, improve utilities and reconstruct houses, 20 percent of which were destroyed in the war.

Orahovac/Rahovec has a population of 65,000, of which 43,000 are rural and 22,000 urban. Albanian make up more than 97 percent of the population, Serbs 2 percent and the rest are Roma.

"We are taking steps together to normalize life for all the citizens of Orahovac," Dr. Kouchner said after the meeting. "UNMIK and KFOR will work with you to make this region a better place for all those who live here."

The Albanian leaders also asked the SRSG about the future appointment of judges and prosecutors. They also requested the opening of a prosecutor's office in Orahovac. Dr. Kouchner told them that when the next judges and prosecutors were named their request would be taken into consideration.

For information only - not an official record

Contact UNMIK Press and Information Office: (381-38) 500-223, 501-396.