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Crisis 1999
News Archive 1999

UN rejects US deal with KLA

United Nations officials in Kosovo are saying that a deal reached by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the US State Department will undermine the organisation's peace efforts in the province. The agreement, reached by KLA leaders and State Department spokesperson James Rubin in June, would give KLA members favourable consideration in the selection of a civil police force for Kosovo. But NATO and UN representatives are reluctant to grant such privileges to KLA members, many of whom are allegedly taking part in a revenge campaign against Serbs and other minorities in Kosovo. Agim Ceku, the KLA's chief of staff, said the agreement should be upheld. Those who attempt to expel non-Albanians from their homes, whether they be KLA members or not, "are people considered by us to be lowlifes whom we deem not worthy of our uniforms," Ceku said. The UN is reneging on its promise to give "special consideration" to KLA members in its police selection process, he added. Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, the UN mission's legal adviser, said the agreement reached by Rubin and the KLA carries no legal weight. For his part, Rubin maintains that he played only an "advisory role" in the agreement's negotiation, adding that he had been asked to assist in the process because he was acquainted with KLA commander Hashim Thaqi. Rubin: "If the UN is slamming the document then it is slamming all 19 countries that approved the document. The British military asked me to help get an agreement with the KLA." British troops in Kosovo say they continue to catch KLA members who pose as "secret policemen" in criminal acts. The most common tactic is to expel a Serbian tenant from an apartment and then turn it over to a "deserving Albanian" -- one who lost his home in the course of the war.

Source: Free Serbia

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