Canadian Mounties to help Kosovo warcrime probes

THE HAGUE, Apr 19, 2000 -- (Reuters) Canada signed an agreement on Tuesday to send experts to help the United Nations war crimes tribunal's investigations in Kosovo, the UN said.

Canada will dispatch six teams of Royal Canadian Mounted Police, totaling 24 people, with the first group to depart for Kosovo on May 1, the UN said in a statement. Each team will stay in the southern Serbian province for around a month.

Canada and the UN signed the agreement at the tribunal's seat in the Hague. Fourteen states signed such accords in 1999, and "discussions are ongoing with a number of other states prepared to assist the operations of the Office of the Prosecutor in Kosovo," the statement said.

United Nations forensic experts resumed exhumations in Kosovo this week in their drive to open up around 300 suspected mass graves in coming months.

The teams suspended their work last year with the onset of winter after unearthing more than 2,000 bodies.

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