Wednesday, November 15, 2006
UN readies Kosovo exit stragegy
The United Nations said Wednesday it has started planning its strategy to exit Kosovo as a decision nears on the future status of the ethnic-Albanian majority province.The UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said the measures it was planning would ensure "a smooth and orderly transition" of its responsibilities to international institutions and local authorities."The joint international and local planning work now under way is essential to prepare" for the transition to the future authorities in Kosovo, UNMIK spokesman Neeraj Singh told reporters."Prudent, responsible planning for the transition will now intensify through a series of working groups that will be formed in areas including civil administration, economy, property, governance, security, legal transition, budget and rule of law," he said.Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since mid-1999, after a NATO bombing campaign ousted Serbian forces from the province because of a brutal crackdown against ethnic Albanians.Still formally a part of Serbia, its future status had been due to be resolved by the end of the year but last week was delayed until after Serbian elections on January 21.The United Nations has come under strong criticism for its heavily bureaucratic administration in Kosovo, which is estimated to have cost around 1.3 billion dollars a year.A European Union-led team of diplomats told AFP earlier this month that it had already begun planning the future role for the international community in Kosovo.
Posted by KosovaReport at 9:50 PM