CEOL
Kosovars join UN administration of their province

BUDAPEST, Jan 12, 2000 -- (AFP) Politicians representing Kosovo's Albanian majority were on Tuesday allocated departments in a joint provincial administration with U.N. representatives, officials announced.

So far Kosovo's Serb minority, which in principle should form part of the administration, has shown no willingness to cooperate with the planned body.

The administration was set up last month to allow Kosovars to help run their province which has been under the control of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) since NATO-led forces occupied Kosovo in June last year.

Hashim Thaci's Democratic Progress Party (PPDK) will jointly run, with UNMIK, the department of commerce and industry and that of the local government.

Thaci is political leader of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which has run parallel administrations alongside UNMIK since NATO troops arrived.

The Kosovo Democratic League, under moderate leader Ibrahim Rugova, will run the finance and justice departments, while Rexhep Qosja's United Democratic Movement has been assigned education and reconstruction.

The department of democratization and civil society will be given to an independent figure, UNMIK announced, without giving details.

The UNMIK statement said the new joint administration would begin work in February.

"This is the first time in the history of the United Nations that we are sharing an administration and working directly with the local population," said the U.N.'s special representative in Kosovo Bernard Kouchner.

Twelve departments, of which three in principle should be held by members of the minority communities, are still to be assigned. Each department is to be an administrative body charged with carrying out policies determined by an Interim Administrative Council made up of Rugova, Thaci, Qosja, a Serb representative and four UNMIK officials.

UNMIK plans to gradually integrate both Thaci's "provisional government" which the KLA unilaterally declared in February 1998 and Rugova's "Presidency of the Republic of Kosovo" into the new joint administration.




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