PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP)--The European Union Friday launched a project to train Kosovo's border police, officials said, as U.N. peacekeepers administering the province hope to transfer more control to local authorities.
The EUR1 million program will bring in experts to train border police officers in using surveillance equipment and examining documents in order to combat transnational crime, the E.U. said in a statement.
Kosovo, formally part of Serbia, has been under U.N. administrative rule since mid-1999, when NATO waged an air war to halt Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.
The U.N. mission is in the process of transferring authority over judiciary and police to the local authorities as it reduces its presence with the aim of turning over some other responsibilities to a possible E.U.-led mission once a decision on the province's future is reached.
There are more than 2,000 U.N. police officers in Kosovo and the province has a 7,000-strong local police force. [ 16-06-06 1151GMT ]