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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 22

UNCHS (Habitat)

Thursday,   16 September 1999
Overview
  • The BTF environmental experts concluded their fieldwork in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and are now working on the final report.

  • A report examining the situation of ethnic minorities in Kosovo was released on 10 September by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

  • The European Council, meeting in Brussels on 13 September, condemned the continuing acts of violence and harassment in Kosovo and expressed concern that many Serbs and other minorities have recently left the region. The council emphasized the importance of finalizing the UNMIK deployment in Kosovo. It also welcomed the fact that KFOR deployment will soon be completed. The Council stressed the importance of completing the demilitarization of the KLA and of the dismantling of its military structures, and called on the KLA to meet the 19 September deadline. It agreed that the time has come to establish formal contacts with the representatives of democratic forces in Serbia and Montenegro.

  • The UN Secretary-General is also alarmed at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in other parts of FRY, particularly in view of the coming winter. Data collected by the United Nations indicates that the vulnerable population of Serbia and Montenegro is growing.

  • The head of the UN administration in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, met on 10 September with UN Security Council members to report on progress made in restoring normalcy in the province. He reported that the UN in Kosovo was succeeding in reducing crime and establishing a civil administration in the territory, but it would take time to build a multi-ethnic Kosovo.

  • An independent commission on the Kosovo conflict, backed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is to investigate the cause of the air war over Kosovo and how to prevent similar conflicts from recurring. The commission, headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone, who served as chief prosecutor for the International War Crimes Tribunal from 1994-1996, will investigate the events that led up to the Kosovo crisis, the war itself and its aftermath.

  • UNMIK announced on 13 September that a large World Bank team is in Kosovo studying 15 sectors of the economy for the targeting of future investment requirements.

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