PRISTINA (AP)--The U.N. has appointed a former U.S. brigadier general to be the deputy head of the U.N. mission in Kosovo, the organization said Wednesday in a statement.
Steven Schook, who has retired from the U.S. Army, previously served in Kosovo as chief of staff to the commander of NATO-led peacekeepers deployed in the province, which has been administered by the U.N. since 1999, after NATO launched airstrikes to stop a crackdown by Serb forces of separatist ethnic Albanian rebels.
Schook was also the NATO commander and senior military representative in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegoniva, and served as the commander of multinational peacekeeping troops known as SFOR in that country, the U.N. said.
Talks to determine Kosovo's future status are underway, with the ethnic Albanian majority population pushing for full independence and the province's Serb minority and Serbia insisting it remains linked with Serbia. [ 19-04-06 0908GMT ]