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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 19

UNCHS (Habitat)

Thursday,   26 August 1999
  • The BTF Danube technical mission started its fieldwork in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on 23 August and is expected to leave FRY on 28 August.

  • UNMIK announced on 23 August that UNMIK Police had begun taking over primary responsibility for law and order in Pristina. The UN civilian police assumed investigative authority and jurisdiction for enforcing criminal codes, conducting investigations, making arrests for criminal offences, and interfacing with the community.

  • Secretary-General Kofi Annan has chosen Tom Koenigs, currently head of the Environmental Protection Department for the city of Frankfurt, as the new United Nations Deputy Special Representative for Civil Administration. Mr. Koenigs will replace Dominique Vian, who will return to his duties with the French Government. He is expected to take up his post in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, during the first week of September.

  • The Council of Europe Secretariat has opened on 20 August an office in Kosovo. The Council of Europe is working in Kosovo on legislation and reforms to bring it in line with the Council of Europe texts such as the European Convention on Human Rights, on restructuring and reforming the judiciary, establishment and functioning of self-government, protection of minorities, property rights and population registration.

  • In spite of an agricultural forecast which is now more optimistic than it was one month ago, food shortfalls will remain very high in Kosovo because the population of the province is also higher than initially envisioned.

  • The Yugoslav Red Cross and local municipalities in Kosovo reported that 196,000 Serbs and Roma have fled Kosovo since NATO forces entered in mid-June. Of this total, 169,100 entered Serbia and 23,500 relocated to Montenegro. In addition, 3,257 people who departed Kosovo are refugees from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. During this period, 767,700 Kosovars have returned to the Serbian province, including 51,000 who came back from countries outside the Balkan region, as of 25 August.

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