Int. Herald Tribune
UN accuses Kosovar Force

Report cites human rights abuses by former rebels

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Paris, Wednesday, March 15, 2000


ROME - Ethnic Albanians serving in Kosovo's equivalent of a national guard engaged in illegal activities and repeatedly committed human rights abuses during their first five weeks of operation in January and February, according to an internal United Nations report obtained by The Washington Post.

The report, by the UN human rights unit in Kosovo, blames the United Nations, NATO and ethnic Albanian leaders for failing to exercise adequate supervision over the activities of the so-called Kosovo Protection Corps.

The group was established by the international community Jan. 21 and staffed almost entirely by former guerrilla fighters in the Kosovo Liberation Army.

The report said members of the Kosovo Protection Corps detained, tortured or killed members of ethnic minorities, illegally took part in law enforcement activities, forced local businesses to pay illegal taxes and threatened police officers who attempted to interfere.

The allegations surfaced in interviews that the human rights unit conducted with UN police officers, regional UN administrators and local residents.



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