CEOL
YU army ready to send troops back to Kosovo

BELGRADE, Aug 1, 2000 -- (AFP) The Yugoslav army is ready to roll back into the UN-run province of Kosovo and has prepared a detachment for the task, according the Yugoslav chief of staff, General Nebojsa Pavkovic.

Pavkovic, quoted in the daily Novo Jedinstvo, said the NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force KFOR "is not able to fulfil its mandate" to protect all of Kosovo's citizens amid frequent attacks against the province's Serbs.

"The Yugoslav army is ready and able to come and put an end to the paramilitary and terrorist forces" in the province.

He warned that in case of an outbreak of new conflict in the Yugoslav province, KFOR's 40,000 troops would "inevitably be drawn in and would suffer heavy losses."

The Yugoslav authorities regularly accuse KFOR and the UN mission in Kosovo of failing to protect the province's minority Serbs from attacks carried out by ethnic Albanians.

NATO bombed Yugoslav forces out of Kosovo last June after Belgrade's massive crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatist guerrillas which drove hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.



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