Monday, August 14, 2006

UN Hands Over Kosovo Airport Security To Local Police

PRISTINA, Serbia (AP)--U.N. authorities handed over control of Kosovo's main airport to the local police force Monday as part of a process of transferring security responsibilities in the province, an official said.

The transition comes as the U.N. mission reduces its presence with the aim of passing some responsibilities to local institutions. Oversight of police and judiciary is expected to be taken up by a European Union-led mission, once a decision on the province's future is reached.

So far Kosovo's 7,000-strong police force has been put in charge of seven border crossings, said police spokesman Veton Elshani.

Kosovo has been administered by the U.N. and controlled by North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led peacekeepers since the alliance's 1999 air-war halted a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.

About 2,000 U.N. police officers are currently deployed in Kosovo. [ 14-08-06 1200GMT ]

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