UN vetoes Kosovo border resolution

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 10:12:33 +0100

The United Nations mission in Kosovo has taken the unprecendented step
of invalidating a resolution taken by the province's local assembly,
which was seeking to challenge a territorial settlement. 

The UN administrator in Kosovo, Michael Steiner, within minutes declared
"null and void" the resolution adopted by the ethnic Albanian-dominated
assembly which rejected a border agreement between Yugoslavia and
Macedonia. 

Kosovo, which borders Macedonia, legally remains part of Yugoslavia. The
unanimously passed resolution is being viewed as an attempt by the
province to act as an independent state. 

The incident is also seen as the most serious rift in relations between
the province's ethnic Albanian leadership and the UN since the world
body took charge of the province in June 1999. 

The vote is also likely to earn strong criticism from Belgrade - and has
already prompted a walkout from the assembly by the Serb deputies. 

Warnings 

Ethnic Albanian MPs - who press for Kosovo's outright independence -
have been unhappy with the border agreement between Yugoslavia and
Macedonia since it was signed last year. 

They say that over 4,000 hectares of land were removed from Kosovo
without any consultation with the local population. 

The BBC's Nicholas Wood in Pristina says that while some UN officials
have sympathised with the MP's grievances, the UN Security Council and
the European Union, have warned that the assembly has no rights to
discuss issues affecting the region's borders or internal security. 

Letters from the Security Council and the EU not to go ahead with the
vote were presented to the assembly before the session. 

They warned that Kosovo's reputation would be damaged if the motion was
adopted. 

Walkout 

Nevertheless, the assembly went ahead with the resolution. 

This in turn prompted the Serbian deputies to leave the parliament,
saying they would no longer take part in the assembly or the province's
government unless the motion was rejected. 

The 120-strong Kosovo's first multi-ethnic assembly opened its inaugural
session in December 2001, following elections the month before. 

But the UN retained the final say on the most contentious policy issues,
banning the assembly to vote for the province's independence. 

Source:  BBC

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