Accessed 10 July 2000

UN envoy condemns attack on UNMIK offices in Kosovo
JUNE 26 -- The head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Dr. Bernard Kouchner, today strongly condemned another outbreak of violence which destroyed the UN offices in Strpce, in the southern part of the territory.

The incident occurred Friday night, when a large crowd of Kosovar Serbs stormed the UNMIK offices in the town, destroying everything inside, including computers, files, windows, doors and furniture. The offices of local Serb employees, except for that of a Serb viewed as being a "moderate," were left untouched.

In a statement, Dr. Kouchner said the events in Strpce were "well coordinated and organized by persons not from the area." These acts of vandalism, he said, were "unacceptable and must stop." The attack followed the disappearance of a Kosovar Serb shepherd from the area.

In another incident yesterday, one Kosovo Serb was killed and one injured by gunfire in the town of Kosovo Polje. The ethnicity or motive of the attacker is unknown.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kouchner, yesterday welcomed the decision taken by the Serb National Council (SNC) to rejoin the Interim Administrative Council and the Kosovo Transitional Council as observers after a temporary suspension two weeks ago.

"This courageous action will allow the Kosovo Serb representatives once again to play their rightful role in building a democratic, peaceful and tolerant Kosovo," he said.

Following talks on additional measures on security and freedom of movement, UNMIK and the SNC are expected to sign an "Understanding" later this week containing concrete steps to improve the life of the Serb community, according to an UNMIK statement.

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 10/07/2000
S D Stein

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