UN condemns Kosovo violence, calls for restraint

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 11, 2000 -- (Reuters) Security Council members on Thursday condemned all acts of violence in Kosovo, where eight people have been killed and more than 20 wounded in ethnic clashes over the past week, and called for utmost restraint and tolerance.

"Members of the council expressed their profound concern at the deterioration of the security situation," said a statement read to reporters by council president Arnoldo Listre of Argentina.

"Council members condemned all acts of violence and demanded their immediate cessation," the statement said.

It was issued after the council was briefed on some of the most serious clashes, in and around the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica between members of the Albanian majority and minority Serbs, since the United Nations began administering the Serbian province in June 1999, backed by a NATO-led force called KFOR.

"Council members called upon all parties concerned to exercise the utmost restraint and tolerance," the statement said, and reiterated their commitment to "the full implementation ... in its entirety" of a June 1999 resolution setting out the mandate of the U.N. and KFOR presence.

Members noted the measures taken in cooperation by the U.N. administration and KFOR to "ensure adequate security of the entire population of Kosovo" and supported ongoing efforts to that end.

The statement also called on U.N. members to provide the U.N. administration with "the personnel and financial resources it still requires."

Fewer than 2,000 U.N. police have been deployed out of the 6,000 requested by U.N. administrator Bernard Kouchner of France, who has also been begging for money to keep the Kosovo administration afloat.

The council said it would continue to follow the situation closely and planned to discuss it again next Wednesday.

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