Die Kosovo UN Kasperle Truppe

Die Kontakt Gruppe ist der mächtigste Partner im Balkan Spiel und gibt jetzt dem Kosovo 6 Monate Zeit, 13 wichtige Schritte zu tun, für den Schutz der Minderheiten.

Kosovo given six months to improve minority rights


The international community has given Kosovo up to six months to implement measures aimed at strengthening the rights of ethnic Serbs and other minorities. Meanwhile, UNMIK is moving to step up security in Kosovo's north.

(Reuters, AP, AFP, RFE/RL, UPI, Makfax - 07/06/06)

The UN will send 500 more police officers to Kosovo's Serb-dominated north to boost security in response to heightened tensions, the UN police chief said on Wednesday (7 June). [Getty Images]

Kosovo's provisional institutions have been given up to six months to implement a set of measures aimed at improving the rights of the province's minorities, primarily those of ethnic Serbs.

The Contact Group, consisting of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States, has outlined 13 steps to be completed "within four to six months", Reuters reported on Wednesday (7 June). These include adopting legislation on languages and religious freedom, setting up additional police stations to ensure the protection of minorities' rights and security, and earmarking money for refugee returns.

"This list is not exhaustive nor is it intended to minimise the importance of implementing all the [UN-set] standards," the Contact Group said in a document. Rather, it added, the purpose is to highlight priority items for immediate action.

Technically still part of Serbia-Montenegro, Kosovo has been under UN administration since the end of the 1998-1999 conflict. Fulfilling UN standards in eight areas had been considered a precondition for beginning negotiations on its final status. While acknowledging that none of the benchmarks have been fully achieved, the UN decided in October to launch the process, saying it could not run the province indefinitely.